TrulyAus – June/July 2024

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OUR HEART IS IN THE COUNTRY June/July 2024 WILD SA A breath of fresh Eyre WINTER WONDERS Top winter stays FURTHER AFIELD Exploring the Outback
golden winter A real Australian business magazine

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At Rex, we believe that putting customers at the heart of everything we do is paramount. This philosophy drives us to continuously improve our services, ensuring you have the best travel experience every time you fly with us.

It’s also something we’re passionate about sharing with all Australians.

For the product and heartfelt country service we offer, we believe we’re the best value in the market.

And I am thrilled to announce that Rex is spreading its wings even further with the launch of two exciting new routes: Melbourne to Perth, and Adelaide to Perth.

From 28 June, you can experience Rex’s distinctive country hospitality and well-known reliability on these two new routes. Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, our new routes will offer convenient connections and peace of mind knowing you’re flying with Australia’s most on-time domestic carrier.

This is a significant milestone for Rex, as it is the first time Perth will be connected to two capital cities on the Rex network. It is another step towards achieving our goal of flying to, and between, all our capital cities.

Our expansion into these routes reflects our commitment to offering more travel options to make it easier for you to explore this vast and diverse continent.

Speaking of travel options, with winter upon us, now is the perfect time to explore some of the incredible destinations on the Rex network. Whether you’re seeking a cosy getaway or an adventurous winter escape, we have you covered. Imagine yourself amidst the picturesque vineyards of Mount Gambier, savouring the crisp, fresh air in Orange, exploring the rugged beauty of Albany or enjoying the charms of Melbourne. Or maybe you’d just like to soak up the winter sunshine in Coffs Harbour or relax on the balmy Gold Coast. Our network spans many locations, each providing new and unique winter experiences.

And don’t forget, sign up to Rex Flyer and start earning and redeeming your Rex Points to take you even further.

Thank you for your support as we continue to expand our network.


Publisher & Editor: Michelle Hespe

Deputy Editor: Emily Riches

Assistant Editor: Matilda Meikle

Designer: Ryan Vizcarra

Sub-editor: Claire Hey



Muhammad Hassan Aamir Annabelle Brayley Neela Lummel Jess Makarewitsch Henry O’Neil


IVE Print Sydney 81 Derby Street, Silverwater, NSW 2128

Truly Aus is published by Publishing ByChelle, (ABN: 78 621 375 853 ACN: 621 375 853) Level 1, 3 Westleigh Street, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089

The reproduction of any content, in whole or part without prior written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in the content are those of the contributors, and not necessarily those of the publisher. All information in this magazine was believed to be correct at the time of publication, and all reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Publishing ByChelle cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are sent to the magazine, they will not be returned. We apologise if we don’t get back to your email, as we do receive a large volume of communication via various online channels. Some images used in TrulyAus are from iStock and Getty Images, and we make every effort to credit all contributors.

JUNE/JULY 2024 1

Inside TrulyAus

upfront 11 Rex News

Rex announces two new routes; The Vietnam Nurses Memorial is unveiled; NJE continues to grow.


28 Follow the sun

The Gold Coast is absolutely thriving, with fabulous new restaurants, the hottest hotels and endless natural attractions.

34 Destination dupes for winter

Can’t make it to Aspen this winter? Us neither. Luckily we’ve found some great local getaways that are possibly even better.

40 Macleay Valley Coast magic

With crisp mornings, cosy pubs and stellar bushwalks, the Macleay Valley Coast is a favourite for winter.


Check out AusBiz. at the back of our magazine.


Could the answer to our food waste woes really be... Maggot Robots?


Palaeoconservation is giving wildlife species a new chance at survival.


Check out some of the latest renewables technology in mining.

50 A gastronomic delight in WA

Is this one of Australia’s best foodie events? You’ll have to head to the Gascoyne Food Festival to find out (but the answer is yes).

52 See the outback in winter

The cooler months are the perfect time to explore outback Queensland.

56 Discover historic Brisbane

Brisbane boasts amazing history, with heritage charm and a convict past.



Aussie-made products to keep you toasty this winter.


Mental health matters. These two apps are changing the game.


These Aussie charities are helping one person at a time (with puppies).

2 TrulyAus 42
SIDE: Pristine beaches, rugged coastline and the best seafood in Australia? Take a breath of fresh Eyre. Image: Tourism Australia.

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A world of wild indulgence. VISIT US!

For this issue, I was lucky enough to visit two parts of our country that have nature and produce at the heart of their communities. Up north, Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast’s hinterland is where you can get back to nature in a rainforest that is home to an incredible array of wildlife including platypus, and also visit familyowned wineries, restaurants, cafes and distilleries where lovely cool-climate wines, delicious spirits and delectable food are the order of the day. And it’s all less than an hour’s drive to the ‘coast with the most,’ where you can visit some of the country’s top restaurants and bars.

Down south, I visited Port Lincoln and the beautiful Eyre Peninsula – which is home to a thriving fishing community famous for producing some of the country’s finest king fish, tuna, mussels and oysters. It’s a stunning region where both tourism and industry rely on the wonders on, in and around the waters.

The colourful history, wonderful produce and many locals passionate about their hometowns lead to immersive experiences where visitors can get into the great outdoors, sample locally made treats, and meet people who are proud of their past and their present. We are spoilt with so many other places like this in Australia, so we’ve pulled together some other great

experiences to make the most of winter. We’ve covered some adventures to be had in Outback Queensland in the cooler months, as well as places to see in Brisbane that are steeped in history. We’ve checked out more exciting things to do on the Macleay Valley Coast such as hiking, snuggling up under the stars, and tucking into some top pub grub. And rather than travel overseas this winter, we suggest some local destination dupes. Who needs the Swiss Alps when you can go skiing or boarding in Falls Creek?

As always, we’ve rounded up some interesting and informative business stories in AusBiz, from looking back at prehistoric times to guide us in conservation efforts, to mental health apps making a difference, and new research and methods for tackling the biggest threat to bees – the nasty varroa mite.

Enjoy the read, and we look forward to bringing you more stories soon!


4 TrulyAus
Prefer to read our content online? No worries! Head to – which is dedicated to celebrating Australian destinations and experiences, while also showcasing Australian operators and Aussies doing great things. To read more Australian business stories, head over to OUR HEART IN THE COUNTRY June/July 2024 WILD SA A breath of fresh Eyre WINTER WONDERS Top winter stays FURTHER AFIELD Exploring the outback A golden winter A real businessAustralian magazine CHEERS TO THE GOLD COAST
Exploring the rugged beauty of Lincoln National Park, SA. Cover photo: Relax with a cocktail at the Dorsett Gold Coast. Image: supplied. | Urban retreat Coastal escape Dorsett Melbourne Dorsett Gold Coast BOOK DIRECT & SAVE SAVE UP TO 37% OFF 5 The Darling Avenue, Broadbeach QLD 4218 | 615 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000


Online check-in

You can check-in online through the Rex website,, on your desktop or mobile devices between 48 hours and 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight.

Airport check-in

If you have checked baggage, we recommend that you arrive at the airport for check-in at least 60 minutes before the scheduled departure of your flight at all airports except Burketown, Queensland (90 minutes before).

Rex check-in closes:

• 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure time at Burketown airport.

• 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time for domestic and regional flights (with the exception of Burketown above).

Special requirements:

Passengers with special requirements must check-in at the airport (online check-in is not available) no later than:

• 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and flights departing from Burketown, QLD.

• 60 minutes prior to departure for all regional flight departures except Burketown, QLD.

Passengers with international connections (within 24 hours) are permitted a 23 kilogram baggage allowance upon presenting a valid itinerary or ticket.

Please refer to for more baggage allowance information.

Excess baggage

Additional checked baggage allowance may be purchased during booking.

For baggage presented at check-in which is over the baggage allowance, excess baggage is subject to capacity and a surcharge of $5.50 (incl GST) per kilogram is applicable.


Carry on baggage

* no one piece may weigh more than 10kg

Checked baggage



Ettricks Rocks’ Retreats offers guests a choice of three different villas – all of them perched on a wonderfully wild landscape above the ocean on remote King Island. From the peace and warmth of your abode you can look out as the roaring forties plays havoc with the waves and the native Australian landscape. It’s a space where you can truly relax while appreciating the power and beauty of mother nature. W: • E: • P: 1300 195 596



As you sit back in comfort en route to your destination, the Rex crew hope you enjoy this entertaining and informative light reading.

Q. Why do the flight attendants insist that all window blinds be up for take-off?

A. The most critical phases of a flight are the take-off and landing. In the most unlikely event of a situation that requires an emergency evacuation, it is important that crew and passengers are able to have a clear view of the outside conditions in case of obstructions. For example, before exits are opened, staff must check for fire or other obstacles that may present potential hazards during the evacuation.

Q. Why do I have to stow my hand luggage in the overhead lockers, under the seats or in the seat pockets for take-off and landing?

A. Flight crews are required by Civil Aviation Regulations to secure the cabin as well as possible for take-off and landing. As mentioned, these are the most critical phases of the flight, and securing as much hand luggage as possible ensures that, in the unlikely event of an emergency, the exits and aisles stay as clear as possible, in case evacuation is necessary. It is also important to keep hand luggage secure whenever possible to ensure heavier items do not become airborne within the cabin. This is especially important when the aircraft is experiencing turbulence.

Q. Why do I feel so tired from flying?

A. As the aircraft altitude increases, air pressure decreases. As the pressure decreases, the body absorbs less oxygen than it would at sea level – so, it must work harder to supply oxygen to the body’s cells. As the body is working harder, it becomes more tired.

Q. Why do I sometimes feel pain in my ears or sinuses during ascent or descent?

A. The sinuses and middle ear are air-containing cavities that connect with the nose via narrow channels. As aircrafts ascend and cabin pressure drops, air passes out of these cavities (without any effort from the passenger) to balance the cabin pressure. It is a different matter during descent, as the cabin pressure increases. The channels close down and must be actively opened by holding the nose and blowing to inflate the cavities. Facial and ear pain can occur during descent if re-inflation does not occur, and this is much


more likely if the passenger has nasal congestion. If you must fly with hayfever, use a decongestant nasal spray before descent and buy some ‘ear planes’ to plug your ears.

(Information contributed by Dr Daniel Hains, ENT surgeon.)

Q. When can electronic equipment such as laptops, iPods and mobile phones be used?

A. All Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) must be placed in flight mode if access to the tarmac (including by bus) is required during boarding or disembarkation, and when instructed to do so by the cabin crew. Small handheld PEDs weighing less than 1kg, such as mobile phones, can be used in flight mode during all stages of flight. PEDs over 1kg, such as laptop computers, must be stowed appropriately for taxi, take-off and landing, and are permitted to be used only during cruise when the ‘Fasten Seatbelt’ sign is switched off. PEDs cannot be used while crossing the tarmac.

Q. What is the average speed of the aircraft when cruising in flight?

A. Our Saab 340 has an average cruising speed of approximately 500 kilometres per hour. The Boeing 737-800 NG has an average speed of 830 kilometres per hour.

Q. Why do I have to get permission from the Captain to move to a vacant seat?

A. The aircraft’s take-off speed is calculated by the weight and balance of the aircraft, and many factors need to be considered for a successful take-off. Factors include the weight of passengers and where they are seated, the weight of cargo, freight and fuel, the distance available on the runway, etc. For example, if there are 100 or more kilograms of freight in the cargo, the balance of the aircraft will be better maintained if passengers are seated in the forward rows.


Q. Aircraft often experience air turbulence, but what causes it?

A. Imagine the air around the aircraft is water in a stream. We can see how water is disturbed around rocks

or when two streams converge. Turbulence in the air is similar: as the aircraft passes through cold air or in the vicinity of terrain that has disturbed the airflow – often incorrectly referred to as ‘air pockets’ – the aircraft climbs and descends in the same way that a boat moves on water. Though turbulence can be uncomfortable, it poses no threat to the aircraft and is akin to driving on a rough or unsealed road. More severe turbulence can be associated with developing thunderstorms. Aircraft have a sophisticated weather radar that pilots use to avoid these areas. Occasionally, a flight attendant will discontinue serving passengers in turbulent conditions; this is a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety.

Q. Why should I keep my seatbelt fastened even when the ‘Fasten Seatbelt’ sign is switched off?

A. On occasion, the flight crew cannot foresee turbulence or it is not picked up on the flight-deck radar. Because of this, we could unexpectedly experience turbulence at any time. The company recommends that you always keep your seatbelt fastened while you are seated – for your safety, just in case unexpected turbulence is encountered.


Q. Why do the aircraft’s engine noises change during the flight?

A. Aircraft need more power to climb than to descend, in the same way that a car needs more power to go up a hill than down one. Rex aircraft have more than enough power to climb, so shortly after take-off you will notice a change in noises as the power is reduced. The pilots also control the pitch angle of the propellers for various stages of the flight, and as they ‘change gears’ this can also be heard in the cabin.

Q. What should I do if I see or hear something that does not look or sound right?

A. Please advise your flight attendant. The flight attendant may be able to answer your query and allay any fears. If not, the flight attendant will contact the flight deck and advise the pilots of anything unusual. Rex encourages open communication and will always treat a passengers’ concerns with the utmost seriousness.

8 TrulyAus




Rex: Our heart is in the country

Members of the Rex Group


JUNE/JULY 2024 9 Townsville N1 W1 C1 W2 N2 Gulf
routes Adelaide Prominent Hill
(Tokua) Madang Lae Goroka Mt Hagen Tabubil Port Moresby
Brisbane Gold Coast Melbourne Hobart Mount Isa Boulia Bedourie Windorah
Charleville St George
Island (Gununa) Julia CreekRichmond Winton Longreach Emerald
Burketown Doomadgee Parkes Moruya Griffith Wagga Wagga Orange Narrandera-Leeton Canberra Port Lincoln Ceduna Broken Hill Coober Pedy Jacinth Ambrosia King Island Burnie Mildura Mount Gambier Devonport Sydney Merimbula Port Macquarie
Wellcamp Albury Kambalda Karlawinda
Barrow Island Abra Nova Tropicana Laverton Leonora Plutonic Jundee Cue Albany Esperance Perth Karara Meekatharra Mt Keith Murrin Kalgoorlie
Monkey Mia Carrapateena Port Augusta Roma Rockhampton Hughenden Moranbah Ravensthorpe Dubbo Coffs Harbour Armidale Gruyere West Musgrave Rockhampton Gladstone Sunrise Dam
Cunnamulla Thargomindah
10 TrulyAus

Rex Goes West – Announcing new Melbourne-Perth

and Adelaide-Perth routes

Rex has announced its westward expansion – adding flights from Melbourne and Adelaide to Perth – taking off June 28.

Travellers will enjoy more choice and competitive fares with Rex’s new Boeing 737 service flying five days a week between Melbourne and Perth.

Economy fares start from just $299, with checked baggage and refreshments included.

It’s one of the most popular domestic routes in the country –close to two million passengers a year – and Rex is delighted to offer Australians more choice.

“When more airlines compete on a particular route, consumers benefit and our record in the domestic markets speaks for itself – Rex delivers terrific value for money,” says Rex General Manager Network Strategy, Warrick Lodge.

This new service adds nearly 90,000 seats to this popular route, a boon for business, trade and tourism.

Whether looking for cultural gems in Melbourne, sun-kissed coasts in Perth, or exploring Rex’s regional destinations, these new flights bring a new era of connectivity for Rex customers.

Western Australia Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Tourism and Transport Rita Saffioti said it was another win for Western Australian tourism.

“We always love welcoming Victorian friends to the west coast, so this is a fantastic announcement for tourism and our local industry here in Western Australia.

“There’s so much to see, do and

enjoy in our beautiful state all year round, so I certainly encourage Victorians to make the most of these new flights and book their next holiday to WA.”

Victorian Government Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos welcomed the new flights, saying, “We are delighted with the news of extra flights between Melbourne and Perth and look forward to welcoming even more visitors from Perth to experience all the wonderful things Victoria has to offer.”

And the good news doesn’t stop there. Rex has also proudly unveiled its 12th domestic route – with new Adelaide-Perth flights set to take off on 28 June.

Offering one-way fares from as low as $249 economy, Rex will fly the route on Embraer E-190 jets.

Rex has also committed to increasing the number of services on the route in future.

This new route fills a critical gap for travellers seeking a reliable alternative. Rex boasts an industryleading on-time performance record, a stark contrast to competitors on this route.

South Australia Minister for Tourism

Zoe Bettison said the new Rex service will help entice more visitors to South Australia from Perth – the state’s fourth largest interstate market.

“It is very welcome news that Rex will start flying Perth to Adelaide, adding more flights into our state and offering another option for visitors from WA to see South Australia,” Ms Bettison said.

Perth Airport’s Chief Commercial and Aviation Officer Kate Holsgrove said that it is great to see Rex Airlines expand their route offerings to the Western Australian market.

“Currently Rex operate four successful regional services within Western Australia. The introduction of the new interstate routes from our Terminal 2 is a sure sign of their confidence in the Perth market,” she said.

And in a huge boost for WA and Victorian families wanting to bag a winter break, Rex has timed the departure of its first flights to coincide with the commencement of school holidays.

To find out more and book tickets, visit

JUNE/JULY 2024 11 News

Australia’s first Vietnam Nurses Memorial opens in South West Queensland

On April 24, 2024, at the Morven Historical Museum in Morven, South West Queensland, one of Australia’s best known Remote Area Nurses and Nurse Educators, Prof Sabina Knight AM, opened Australia’s only Vietnam Nurses Memorial: a permanent photographic exposition dedicated to the 353 Australian women who nursed in Vietnam. It comprises 16 compelling images that share stories of Royal Australian Air Force, Army and Civilian Surgical Team nurses, at work during the war.

Thanks to Rex, four of the nurses featured in the Memorial, Trish Ferguson, Janet Glasson, Bev Milner and Annie Hall, attended the opening. When approached to help,

Steve Jones, Queensland Manager of Rex did not hesitate to offer flights for those nurses able to come. Rex flew one of the nurses from Adelaide and all of them from Brisbane to Charleville return.

“It was truly an honour to be able to help shine some light on the stories and contributions of these wonderful ladies,” Steve said.

Between 1964-1972, 353 Australian women went to nurse in various facilities in Vietnam. More than 200 went to work in Provincial Hospitals with Civilian Surgical Teams sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs under the SEATO Agreement to provide support to the local medical staff. They worked in extremely

challenging conditions outside the parameters of any military bases. Janet Glasson was one of the Civilian Surgical Team members sent to Long Xuyen for 12 months in October 1967.

Of the photograph of her with an M16 assault rifle, Janet says: “Being a country girl, I could already shoot but the Americans who were based at the MAC-V (Military Assistance Command-Vietnam) made sure we could all shoot so we could defend ourselves. There was always a rifle or two leaning against the surgical theatre wall.”

Annie Hall and Trish Ferguson, two of the 43 RAANC nurses deployed to the 1st Australian Field Hospital at Vung Tau were delighted to be in

12 TrulyAus News
Words: annabelle brayley LEFT TO RIGHT: Prof Sabina Knight AM, Annie Hall, Bev Milner, Janet Glasson, Trish Ferguson and Annabell Brayley.

Morven to participate in the opening, the community dinner that followed and in the very special ANZAC Day Service the next day. As guest speaker for the ANZAC Day Service, Annie shared stories of her experience in Vietnam as an intensive care nurse at the 1st Australian Field Hospital. She and Trish were there at the same time and have remained friends in the 50-plus years since.

Six of the starkly beautiful photographs featured in the Memorial were taken by Trish’s husband, the late Denis Stanley Gibbons, the first Australian photojournalist to be embedded into the war zone with American and Australian forces.

Bev Milner was one of 106 Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS) nurses who were posted to Butterworth in Malaysia to fly medevacs into South Vietnam to evacuate Australian casualties back to the No 4 RAAF Hospital at Butterworth where they were restabilised before being evacuated

“It was truly an honour to be able to help shine some light on the stories and contributions of these wonderful ladies.”



home to Australia. Bev was also one of 32 of those RAAF nurses who were seconded to the United States Air Force, based at Clark Air Base in the Philippines for 60-day rotations.

They flew with USAF’s 902nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron undertaking medevacs throughout Vietnam to retrieve American and other Allied casualties back to Clark or to bases in Japan or Korea. In addition, Bev had occasion to fly with the 903rd AES and with the 57th Military Airlift Command flying American casualties back to the United States.

Reflecting on the 55+ years since she returned from Vietnam, Bev said,

“I used not talk about my experience at all because we were told not to. It was so lovely of Rex Airlines to fly us to and from Charleville and to have the Morven community embrace us and be so interested in our stories.”

As their three-day visit drew to a close, Trish said, “For me, these few days in Morven were extremely emotive. The planning, work, and dedication that has gone into bringing the concept of the Vietnam Nurses Memorial, to fruition, is, and will be appreciated well into the future. It is such a beautiful, respectful place, a place to reflect and ponder.”

The Morven Historical Museum extends its warmest appreciation to Rex for contributing so significantly to this long overdue initiative. The Vietnam Nurses Memorial, which stands in the Morven Historical Museum complex, is open to visitors every day between 10am and 4pm.

Rex has daily flights to Charleville from Brisbane.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Bev Milner, Trish Ferguson, Janet Glasson and Annie Hall.

Building on its recent success, National Jet Express (NJE), Rex’s FIFO and charter airline, shows no signs of slowing down.

NJE recently expanded its network to include its first destination in New South Wales, commencing weekly services between Brisbane and Orange.

It also recently welcomed its seventh Embraer E-190 twin jet aircraft to the fleet.

The network and fleet expansion reflects NJE’s commitment to meeting the growing demands for its operations across Australia.

14 TrulyAus News
NJE continues to grow from $249* *T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Booking/handling fee & Payment method surcharge apply. Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia Fly Adelaide to Perth Taking off 28 June 2024
has landed Join our new loyalty program. Become a Rex Flyer member today –it’s free! Start earning Rex Points and take off in no time with our range of great value and flexible Flight Rewards. You’ll also earn Status with every flight – and elevate your status sooner with Rex. *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Visit

Stay connected on the fly with Wi-Fi

Time to sit back and relax with entertainment and internet at your fingertips on selected domestic flights operated by our Boeing 737-800NG.

Enjoy a great selection of free blockbuster movies and addictive TV shows or stay connected by purchasing Wi-Fi Passes and surf the net in the sky – complimentary for Business class passengers.

Step by step: How to connect onboard

Choose network.

Turn on device’s Wi-Fi and connect to the Rex Wi-Fi network “REX”.


Browser should open automatically. If needed, open your internet browser and search to connect.

Once connected, passengers can access complimentary in-flight entertainment.

Purchase a Wi-Fi Pass to start streaming (free for Business Class).

Wi-Fi Passes available for purchase

Regular speed for browsing

Suitable for simple web browsing, email, instant messaging and social media (excludes video and app stores).


Have a question?

For any questions or troubleshooting, live chat is available 24/7 to assist you.

High-speed for streaming

Suitable for a faster connection speed supporting video streaming services such as YouTube (excludes app stores).

are subject to change at any time. Please access the Rex in-flight web portal for more information. Terms and conditions apply.
30 minutes from $6.50* Entire flight from $9.99* 30 minutes from $9.75* Entire flight from $14.99*
CARNARVON PERTH Explore regional Western Australia with From whale spotting off the majestic coastline in Albany, Esperance’s renowned white beaches, to Australia’s first Satellite Earth Station at the Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum and the world-famous dolphin experience at Monkey Mia, Western Australia offers bucket-list adventures and breath taking landscapes. Explore Western Australia at
credit: Tourism Western Australia ESPERANCE ALBANY
from $299* *T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Booking/handling fee & Payment method surcharge apply. Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia Fly Melbourne to Perth Taking off 28 June 2024


In her debut novel

The Story Thief, Kyra Geddes explores the untold stories of female visionaries in colonial Australia through the eyes of her fierce protagonist Lillian. Words: Neela Lummel

When Lillian reads Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife at school, she is convinced that the story is based on her own family’s history. This belief, and her search for the truth, follows her throughout a life marked by historical events such as women’s suffrage and the two World Wars.

Just like her protagonist, Geddes first came across The Drover’s Wife during her studies. It immediately bothered her that the author chose to leave his hardworking heroine –and, indeed, both of her daughters – unnamed, while naming the sons and even the family dog.

Geddes believed it “begged for a feminist retelling”, and began crafting a manuscript that would take her a decade to finish. “It is a lifelong apprenticeship to be writing a novel, although you do learn on the job,” she says.

Going back to university to study creative writing was one of many steps Geddes took to complete her book. With almost no background knowledge of Australian colonial history, she started tackling The Story Thief with years of research. Following the mantra ‘The greatest truths are

found in fiction rather than in history books’, she read all the novels she could get her hands on that were written in the period when her manuscript was set. At the same time she delved into first-hand historical accounts from archival books, old newspapers and many original articles from the era.

The Story Thief, published by Affirm Press, tells a tale of love and loss, mothers and daughters, and Lillian’s coming of age, while simultaneously painting a realistic picture of Australian life in the early 1900s. Although it is first and foremost a historical novel, it includes timeless themes such as the power of storytelling.

“With my novel I wanted to celebrate storytelling,” Geddes explains. “And the fact that we all have a right to tell a story in whatever

way suits us, and that by telling it in our own way, it becomes our own.”

Although The Story Thief is based on Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife, in Geddes’ feminist retelling it becomes a carefully crafted homage and critique of the famous short story. With historical accuracy, the novel illuminates the ways that women – and their place in society – were negatively regarded, and offers a stirring account of love, loss and survival. TA

18 TrulyAus
Kyra Geddes. Image: Uber Photography; The book cover for The Story Thief.


Getaway on a journey of wellness and culinary excellence at South East Queensland’ leading luxury resort, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. Located north of Surfers Paradise, immerse in the panoramic views of the Gold Coast Hinterland and Pacific Ocean.

Gather your friends, family and loved ones to explore pure relaxation in the comfort of the resorts’ tropical oasis with a variety of water activities, cabanas and pools, including the award-winning saltwater lagoon teeming with over 300 tropical fish.

Refine your family stay as you unfold the mindful space of Spa by JW, followed by culinary excellence at Citrique Restaurant. Prompt your senses into rejuvenation by indulging in a one-hour signature massage or facial. Each massage is carefully curated with an allure of fragrant aromas and soothing melodies guided by a wardrobe of Aromatherapy Associates’ essential oils enhancing your senses, resetting and restoring inner balance. Unlock Ultraceuticals skincare range accelerating wellbeing and promoting glowing skin.

Extend your wellness journey, as you deepen your senses with the steam and sauna shower access seamlessly blended to guide you next to your culinary journey at Citrique. Awarded an Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat for two consecutive years, granting recognition nationally for delivering an exceptional dining experience.

Savour specialty dishes created by Executive Chef Paul Smart and his team of culinary experts that embraces extraordinary flavours of local produce, in collaboration with local farmers and producers.

In pursuit of pleasure, Citrique draws a vision of comfort and relaxation with greenery and natural interiors, inviting you to a multi-sensory dining experience. Be seated in an intimate set up (all part of the magic) with the stunning views of the resort’s serene saltwater lagoon, boasted through the exposed window panels.

Capture the diversity and intricacies of contemporary Australian cuisine, with nodes of Asian flavours with the Chef’s Signature Bay Bugs Dumplings, a local favourite infused with strong and complex flavours of lobster bisque. The culinary team focus on curating dishes with fresh herbs, vegetables and edible flowers picked daily from the JW Garden. The enticing farm-to-table dining experience highlights seasonal ingredients heroed in simple, yet utterly delectable dishes.

A journey made to be discovered, unlock the underlining truths of relaxation and rejuvenation at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. Elicit a luxury experience in the resort’s natural surroundings and make it your next coastal destination.

@jwmarriottgoldcoastresort | | 07 5592 9800

What a difference a day makes…

Whether you are travelling for business, attending a medical appointment or job interview in Brisbane, playing tourist for the day or just want to put your feet up in between flights, relax with a hotel room for the day at Brisbane Airport Hotels Group. Choose from the ibis, Novotel or Pullman Brisbane Airport and enjoy the full benefits of the hotel services.

The 3.5 star ibis Brisbane Airport offers affordable accommodation and is designed to tick all the boxes. For those who aren’t keen to venture far, delegates can ‘hang ten’ at the Cribb Island Beach Club, a modern bistro with a funky beach club twist.

Adjoining the ibis, delegates can experience a 5 star luxury escape for the day at the award-winning Pullman Brisbane Airport. Voted Best Airport Hotel in Australia/Pacific in 2019, 2022

For a deluxe Canberra getaway, choose East

Located in Kingston in the inner south of Canberra, East Hotel is a boutique apartment hotel that allows you to live like a local. Owned by a passionate Italian family, this 140-room property redefines hospitality with its moody, sumptuous interiors and warm, authentic service.

From the moment you step into the soaring lobby, you’re greeted with a blend of sophistication and comfort. Whether you’re here for a few nights on business, enjoying an aperitivo Negroni at Joe’s Bar, or savouring house-made gnocchi and pizza at Agostinis with loved ones, East Hotel offers an experience that’s both luxe and inviting.

Each room is thoughtfully designed to cater to solo travellers and families

and 2023, the Pullman Brisbane Airport will meet the needs of even the most seasoned traveller. Step out onto the resort-style pool terrace, refresh with dip in the swimming pool or relax with a signature cocktail.

Alternatively, the 4.5 star Novotel Brisbane Airport offers premium accommodation, perfectly positioned within the Brisbane Airport and Skygate precinct. Escape the airport for a few hours and clear your mind in one of the hotel’s modern guest rooms or enjoy a meal in Catalina Restaurant. Beat the jet lag with a workout in the fully equipped gym or take a break in the sauna.

Take full advantage of a hotel room for the day on your next journey by booking a Day Stay and Refresh Package at the ibis Brisbane Airport, Novotel Brisbane Airport or Pullman Brisbane Airport. Visit

alike, and the convenient location makes it the perfect base for exploring Canberra. Find excellent shopping, dining and parklands on your doorstep, while the CBD and airport are both within an easy 15-minute drive.

Since opening in 2012, East Hotel has become a beloved destination for both visitors and locals. The vibrant atmosphere, combined with the personalised care from the friendly staff, ensures a memorable stay. Visit

20 TrulyAus Sip Eat Sleep

What’s on & what’s hot

Our pick of the very best gigs, festivals, and culinary and cultural events from around the country.

Jun 5-July 15

Sydney Film Festival

Sydney, NSW

The 71st annual Sydney Film Festival is a celebration of cinema, with offerings for passionate cinephiles and one-flick wonders alike. Discover premiere screenings, red carpets, Q&As, parties and more.

Jun 28-July 7

Festival of Voices

Hobart, TAS

Join in Australia’s leading celebration of singing. The program includes everything from choral to contemporary, attracting music lovers from around the world.

June 29-30

National Indigenous Art Fair

Sydney, NSW

Discover contemporary Indigenous Australian art, design, dance, food and culture at this annual fair, and meet the amazing artists.

July 2-4

Birdsville Big Red Bash

Birdsville, QLD

Get ready to party under under the open skies of the Simpson Desert at the most remote music festival in the world. Travelling to the Bash is an experience in itself. Join in the nutbush, dress up and have a ball. This year, the line-up features music legends Tina Arena, Jon Stevens, Colin Hay, Vanessa Amorosi and many more!

July 5-21

Bondi Festival

June 29

Scenic Rim Winter

Harvest Festival

Kalbar, QLD

As the signature event of Eat Local Month, this foodie festival proudly showcases the best of the Scenic Rim’s culinary offerings.

June 30

Mary Poppins Festival

Maryborough, QLD

Celebrate the power of storytelling and creativity in the birthplace of Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers. A delight for kids (and kids at heart)!

July 1-31

Illuminate Adelaide Adelaide, SA

Illuminate Adelaide brings together the best and boldest in art, music, technology and invention from around Australia and the world, and sets them loose across the city and the state.

July 12-13

Huon Valley

Mid-Winter Festival

Grove, TAS

Held in one of Tassie’s most stunning regions, the festival is hosted by local favourite Willie Smith’s cider house and orchard.

July 13

Hunter Valley Beer and Wine Festival

Lovedale, NSW

Sydney, NSW

A boutique arts festival in one of Australia’s most iconic beachside suburbs. Discover performers, storytellers and creators from Sydney and beyond.

July 6-7

Gold Coast Marathon

Gold Coast, QLD

This world-class international marathon attracts participants of all ages and abilities from around the world across eight races. This is a fast, flat course with incredible scenic views.

July 6-21

Bathurst Winter Festival

Bathurst, NSW

Welcome winter this year in the gorgeous regional city of Bathurst. The Bathurst Winter Festival is your one-stop shop for familyfriendly activities that are perfect for celebrating the colder months.

Bringing together the region’s best wineries, beer, spirit, cider tastings, fine local food, and entertainment at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley.

July 19-21

Perth Elvis Festival

Perth, WA

Get ready to shake, rattle, and roll as four awardwinning Elvis performers take you on a musical journey through the King’s greatest hits.

July 25-28

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Cairns, QLD

Experience the vibrancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultures at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, themed ‘Country Speaking’.

Aug 1-4


Launceston, Tas

Savour Tassie’s local produce and support its regional producers while revelling in community and culture.

JUNE/JULY 2024 21 Events


Everybody Had a Name offers a uniquely Melbourne perspective on the six million lives lost during the Holocaust, memorialised through individual stories.

Words: Emily Riches

“EVERYBODY HAD a name – nobody had a grave”: this is what Holocaust survivor Tuvia Lipson would tell visitors and school children when sharing his story. The new permanent exhibition at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum takes Lipson’s words as its title and guiding principle.

Everybody Had a Name is an immersive exploration of the Jewish experience of the Holocaust. Divided into six sections, it takes visitors through Jewish life before the war, the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of WWII, through to liberation and its aftermath.

Importantly, the exhibition honours and celebrates the lives of Melbournebased Holocaust survivors, exploring their resilience in rebuilding their lives and communities in Melbourne. Australia’s Jewish population doubled to 30,000 in the immediate post-war period. Most Holocaust survivors who came to Australia post-war were sponsored by relatives.

Powerful testimony, historic photographs and evocative artefacts reveal the stories of these individual lives within the expansive and tragic events of the Holocaust. Through interactive audio-visual overlays, visitors are invited to engage with the narratives of survivors, to bear witness

to their experiences and to confront the haunting legacy of the Holocaust.

As senior curator Sandy Saxon says, “By following the personal stories and experience of our survivors, visitors will get a better understanding of the Holocaust and its impact, and about what we all have in common – our shared humanity.”


One special artefact in the exhibition is a metal charm brooch, which was secretly made by Gucia Honigman (later Ferst) and her fellow prisoners from metal offcuts, while imprisoned in Peterswaldau labour camp in 1942.

The charms hold photos of Gucia’s best friend Raisel Plachcinska, and her nephew Chaim Rozenblum. When Gucia returned home after the war she discovered that no one else from her family survived. All she had were some photos she had buried, as well as this brooch and a few of other pieces of covertly-made jewellery from her time working in slave labour.

Such personal items connect us with the experiences of Holocaust survivors, and those who were murdered.

Each step through the exhibition serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to remember, to educate and to ensure that the voices of survivors are never forgotten.

The Melbourne Holocaust Museum is the largest institution in Australia dedicated solely to Holocaust education, preservation and remembrance. The museum holds a collection of more than 12,000 historical artefacts and 1,300 survivor testimonies. After a five-year redevelopment project, the museum reopened in November 2023 with two state-of-the-art exhibition spaces, a virtual reality experience and a dedicated memorial room. Visit TA

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JUNE/JULY 2024 23
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Birch trees; Metal charm brooch; The interactive table; Entry to the exhibit. Images: Simon Shiff.


For many people, productions based upon Shakespeare’s works can be daunting, especially if you are a newcomer to his works. That is the beauty of Bell Shakespeare’s take on the classical comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream –about a group of young Athenians that centres around one of Shakepeare’s most famous quotes: the course of true love never did run smooth.

The delightful cast bring the age-old story to life, with magic, mirth, love, jealousy and loads of mayhem creating a breathtaking production that regularly has the audience in fits of laughter.

If you are not familiar with the storyline, there is a royal wedding soon to be held in Athens, and meanwhile, there are two sets of young lovers dreaming of their futures together. One couple adore one another (Hermia and Lysander), but the other is more fractured: Helena is madly in love with Demetrius but Demetrius loves Hermia. The loved-up couple steal away to the forest to elope, while Demetrius follows, determined to win over Hermia’s heart. Not far behind is poor old Helena, set on making Demetrius fall in love with her instead.

There is a lot more happening in the forest however, as a group of aspiring actors (who are actually tradies) are practising their play for the upcoming wedding.

Some mischievous fairies are also in the midst (including the famously naughty Puck) casting spells, causing mayhem and confusing everyone in a riot of comedy and quickpaced action that has everyone in the audience on the edge of their seats.

People of all ages will love this clever adaptation, and for the uninitiated, they’ll no doubt walk out just that bit more familiar with Shakespeare’s brilliance. For Shakespearean fans, King Lear will be playing from mid-June until midAugust in NSW and Vic. TA

For more upcoming shows, visit

• Canberra Theatre Centre | 7-15 June 2024

• Wagga Wagga Civic Centre | 18 June 2024

• Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre | 20 June 2024

• Goulburn Performing Arts Centre | 23 June 2024

• Mildura Arts Centre | 26 June 2024

• Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs | 29 June 2024

28th - 30th June

20th - 28th July

Plan your ultimate Aussie adventure with Lonely Planet Let Us Be Your Guide! Receive 20% OFF* on Use code: AUSSIE20 *Discount code applies to all books. Valid until 31st October 2024.

Latin American magic at Morena

Lovers of high-end Latin American cuisine are rejoicing at the opening of renowned Executive Chef Alejandro Saravia’s Morena restaurant housed in the beautiful historic GPO Building at No. 1 Martin Place. The 200-seater fine diner pays homage to Alejandro’s native Peru as well as the cuisines of Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, to name but a handful.

Morena has a focus on working directly with farmers, just like its sister restaurants owned by the Renascence Group – hatted Farmer’s Daughters and Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters based in Melbourne. Alejandro will also continue to source authentic ingredients from across Latin America to ensure the dishes remain true to the essence of the countries that inspire them.

Seafood lovers will swoon over the range of ceviche on offer, such as

goldband snapper ceviche with leche de tigre, sweet potato and chulpi; king prawn ceviche with green plantain crisp, and hogao; and yellowfin tuna ceviche with aged soy dashi, daikon, aji rocoto and wasabi leaves. There’s also Abrolohos Island scallops with parmesan cream, lime, aji and amarillo butter, and for meat lovers, the Kaloola suckling pig served with mojo sauce and Gundagai lamb picanha with a cachaça marinade is sensational.

Alongside wines showcasing varietals synonymous with Latin American regions – such as Carmenere from Chile and Malbec from Argentina – there are plenty of fine wines from Australia’s wine regions, and 12 signature cocktails each with a focus on Latin American spirits such as pisco, tequila and rum.

The impressive list of cocktails includes ‘Morena’s Punch’, featuring

Peruvian pisco, Quebranta grape with jasmine tea, pineapple syrup and a touch of yuzu gin. Morena’s take on a traditional Pisco Sour is worth celebrating – created from a blend of Peruvian pisco “puro”, with fresh lime juice, a blood orange syrup and Oloroso sherry, finished with a Pedro Ximenez aromatic tincture.


Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT

For more than 140 years, Zodiac has dedicated itself to the precision and craftsmanship that is inherent with Swiss timekeeping. Explore the Super Sea Wolf GMT iconic collection of Swiss-made automatic watches built with the same utility as the original 1953 design and the modern innovation Zodiac is known for.

Zodiac and Swiss Technology Production have joined forces to create a brand new expertly crafted mechanical movement that powers the latest time piece

– the Super Sea Wolf GMT.

It is the first time this advanced movement has been offered in a core collection piece and you can expect:

• Hours, minutes, sweep second

• 24-hour hand or second time zone

• Quick connection of date and 24-hour hand

• Stop second device

• Self-winding mechanism with ball bearing

• 28’800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz. 26 jewels

• 40-hour power reserve

And prices start from $17,218 AUD

Sip Eat Sleep
Visit the Time+Tide Studio at 1/178 Collins Street, Melbourne For more information:

Meet a regional chef:


In the charming coastal town of Laurieton on the NSW Mid North Coast, a culinary gem is causing quite a stir among locals and travellers alike. Meet Miss Diu, the chef behind the Blue Buffalo Cafe, where the flavours of Vietnam come to life in the most unexpected ways.

Words: Emily Riches


Miss Diu’s journey began in the lush landscapes of Long Khanh in South Vietnam. Raised on her father’s cashew farm, she developed a deep appreciation for fresh ingredients and authentic flavours from a young age. Her passion for cooking led her to Vung Tau, where she honed her skills at the College of Tourism Cooking.

In 2015, Miss Diu and her partner Brett Matthews opened the Blue Corner restaurant, which 18 months later became the number one restaurant in Vung Tau. But Miss Diu’s dreams stretched beyond the borders of Vietnam, and they sold the restaurant to set off for Australia.

They opened the Blue Buffalo Cafe in Laurieton in 2019, and a couple of years later were joined by Miss Diu’s children, who now help out in the restaurant. Linh is a second year apprentice to her mother and attends Port Macquarie Tafe, while Lan has just finished Year 12.


The Blue Buffalo Cafe isn’t your typical dining establishment: it’s a celebration of Vietnamese street food culture. As you approach the restaurant, the tempting aromas of Vietnamese cooking and cheerful chatter beckon you inside.

With streetside seating, diners can feast on an array of authentic Vietnamese delights. From banh mi and crispy banh xeo (a rice flour pancake), to local chilli mud crab and fragrant pho that takes three days to cook, each dish is crafted with love from fresh Australian produce.

Sip on a refreshing coconut shake, traditional Vietnamese coffee or freshly squeezed juice from the juice bar – a favourite with the locals! Other popular dishes are chao tom, tender minced prawns moulded around a sugar cane stick and deep fried, and bun thit nuong, a delicious rice noodle salad with succulent barbecue pork or tofu that Miss Diu describes as “love in a bowl.”

There are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options as well, and all dishes are available for takeaway using recycled paper, sugar cane mulch and fresh banana leaves.


What truly sets the Blue Buffalo Café apart is its sense of community. Miss Diu and her children are very popular in Laurieton and pride themselves on their friendly, welcoming service. Miss Diu also loves the natural beauty of the area, with North Brother Mountain, the beaches and the beautiful Camden Haven River.

And it’s not just the locals who have taken notice. Travellers from far afield flock to the Blue Buffalo, drawn by its reputation for exceptional food and hospitality.

Open seven days a week for lunch, and dinner three nights a week, the restaurant has become a foodie destination in its own right, putting Laurieton on the culinary map. TA

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JUNE/JULY 2024 27
Regional bites
TOP THEN L-R: Miss Diu cooking on the beach at Laurieton; A couple of happy customers; Miss Diu with fresh prawns for the popular chao tom dish; The famous local chilli mud crab. Images: supplied.

Follow the sun

28 TrulyAus Escape
From its thriving cosmopolitan city with some of the best beaches and restaurants in Australia, to its hinterland rich with produce, wineries and wildlife wonders, the Gold Coast is a place to indulge the senses during the cooler months. So go on, follow the sun. WORDs: Michelle hespe

There’s certainly no need for AI art when conveying the beauty of Tamborine Mountain’s rainforest – it’s like an idyllic fantasyland plucked from the pages of a children’s book. Picture a flurry of Blue Triangle Butterflies flitting past a waterfall cascading onto mossy rocks shaded by ancient strangler figs, while a Richmond Birdwing – one of Australia’s largest butterflies with a wingspan of up to 16cm – lands on a bouquet of Jurassic-looking fern fronds.

On the other side of a burbling creek, a green tree frog puffs out its chest in appreciation of the cool morning air while a chubby pademelon looks up from behind a thicket of undergrowth, its nose twitching, eyes bright. Platypuses are plentiful in the waters here (although they’re a rare sight), koalas slumber in the trees overhead, and at night the place is wild with the squawks, squabbles, squeaks and screeches of possums, gliders, bandicoots and an array of other wildlife that call the mountain home.

Standing in the middle of the rainforest, you’d never guess that this wildlife wonderland is just a 45-minute drive from the centre of the Gold Coast.

Visitors can get a taste of this flora, fauna, history and more by traversing the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. This 1.5-kilometre round walk is made up of winding forest floor trails and 300 metres of high-tech steel bridges through the highest points of the upper canopy, with a

40-metre cantilever bridge soaring a thrilling 30 metres above the creek and rainforest. Visit the Rainforest Eco Gallery after or grab a coffee in the Birdwing Cafe.


There’s no better way to uncover the delights of an unfamiliar region than with a local. Guides with tour company Kiff & Culture (Kiff is a South African word for something that’s awesome) pride themselves on operating tours based on local knowledge, with a focus on putting nature first, and offering ethical eats – aka paddock-to-plate gastronomy. One of its many tours is a full-day exploration of Tamborine Mountain, taking in the Sky Walk as well as wineries and a distillery. One of these is family-run Mason Winery, set on a picturesque property with beautifully kept lawns and gardens where guests can sit outside on the lawn, on the sprawling wooden deck, or relax inside the charmingly rustic winery and restaurant. Even when its busy, there is a sense of tranquillity that’s hard to beat, and the food is all lovingly prepared with local ingredients, and served with a smile. Enjoy a hearty steak or a chicken breast with homemade creamy sauce, or indulge in some smaller dishes such as tempura prawns or spring rolls with a wine tasting. The Albarino and chardonnays are particularly delicious and outstanding.

Down the road at Witches Falls

Winery, guests are seated in a cobbled courtyard with the vineyards in neatly pruned rows before you, the surrounding hedges and flowering vines giving it the feel of a Tuscan estate. Enjoy a wine tasting paired with local cheeses, where the delightful staff are so friendly it feels as though you are being welcomed into their home. The Vermentino and Fiano are lovely (they might even change a Savvy B drinker’s mind), and the cellar door sells lots of locally made gourmet goodies, so you can pack yourself a picnic or grab a souvenir while you’re at it.

Over at Cauldron Distillery, an amazing range of gins are crafted with love. Native ingredients are prepared by a team of dedicated distillers who celebrate their local produce. As well as experimental gins and vodkas – try the Christmas Cheer Gin and Rocky Road Chocolate Easter Vodka – there are other great beverages on offer such as a range of Vermouths and a coffee liquor called Caffe Freddo, that many a coffee lover has claimed is the best in the country. The Limoncello was a community effort: it became so popular that the Cauldron folk ran out of lemons, so loads of locals brought in fruit from their own properties in exchange for drink credits.

Back on the coast, for a sensational place to enjoy an evening meal, head to Eddy & Wolff in Robina. Husband and wife duo Thao and Vien Nguyen have created a sanctuary of Asianinspired culinary bliss, that’s not 


easy to find the first time you go. Stepping into this dimly lit den-like space is like discovering a hole-in-thewall local hangout in Hong Kong or Tokyo. Dark and moody, with some of the friendliest, welcoming staff you’ll ever meet, Eddy & Wolff dishes up some of the tastiest, creative and beautifully balanced dishes on the Gold Coast. Although you’ll recognise some classic tastes and combinations, Chef Vien always puts a surprising spin on things – such as the smoked prik khing butter in a curry sauce to acccompany the scallops, or a choko broth to go with the barramundi and glass noodles. Choose your dishes or go for the Chef’s suggestions menu, which is paired perfectly with a fabulous range of wines, both classic and not-so-common varietals.

works of great artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Caravaggio come to life on enormous screens around you. It’s like seeing mythical people beyond mortal reach appear in the flesh, alive and well. The exhibition was created by the makers of Van Gogh Alive –Grande Experiences – and it’s accompanied by a powerful operatic music score to take the drama up yet another notch.


For art, culture, history and music, no trip to the Gold Coast is complete without a visit to HOTA – Home of the Arts. In this 17-hectare precinct, there’s a sculpture trail, performance centre, movie theatre, stadium for concerts, and the jaw-droppingly modern centrepiece that is a 2,000-squaremetre Cubist-style gallery with five floors of gallery space. It includes 2-hatted fine dining restaurant Palette (serving art on a plate), Hota Café, and The Exhibitionist Bar on the rooftop, which has incredible views of the Gold Coast.

If you’re on the Gold Coast between now and August 4, the Italian Renaissance Alive exhibition is a must. Step into darkened spaces where the

After an ample art fix, Glass Dining on Marina Mirage is an ideal place to fine dine for lunch on the waterfront, with boats bobbing metres away from diners. With a relaxed atmosphere and superb service to match the exquisite wines and food, it’s a local favourite, and popular for events. There are mid-week lunch specials, so fit in a sneaky mid-weeky experience with fresh and fabulous small plates such as oysters, duck liver and plum pate with crispy pancetta, or baby squid with an Asian slaw.

As all seasoned rock stars do, step out of Glass Dining on to the pier, and be picked up by a 38-foot yacht. Sun Sailing Gold Coast is run by husbandand-wife team Cath and Grant, with their trusty canine Wilson, who confidently trots around the beautifully restored yacht ensuring that no one misses out on cuddles, drinks, or tasty

 Escape 30 TrulyAus
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Try the delectable dry aged duck at Eddy & Wolff; Soak up the serenity at Curtis Falls in Mount Tamborine; Dine on the waterfront at Glass Dining. Images: supplied.


food platters. Explore the Broadwater Parklands, SeaWorld, the superyachts at Marina Mirage and Southport Yacht Club, Wavebreak Island and South Stradbroke Island in style. Cath also runs Murder Mystery events for groups, romantic evenings for couples, whale watching tours and a beautiful service for scattering a loved ones’ ashes.

To wrap up a glamorous day of lunching and yachting, Miss MoneyPenny’s is the ticket for a cutting-edge cocktail, or an indulgent degustation with matched wines. This super-cool restaurant on the ground floor of Avani Broadbeach Residences offers high-end social dining, so you can kick back and soak up the fun vibes while savouring the art of great service. The bar is enormous, there’s comfy, elegant couch seating, and the staff go above and beyond to make everyone feel at home.

Miss MoneyPenny’s cocktail making classes, bottomless lunches, and the Chef’s Seven is the way to go for those who love fine dining paired with expertly chosen wines. The roast duck tortellini dish sheds some light on the many talents of Chef Tapos Singha,

who worked at 3-hatted Est at Establishment and 2-hatted Luccio’s in Paddington. A miso bone broth consommé is poured across the delicate flower-like parcels in front of diners, setting off the flavours and accentuating the tenderness of this delicate and decadent dish.

Continue the culinary ride exploring the Goldie’s most glamorous restaurants with a dining experience at Nineteen at the Star (at the Star Casino) – it should be slotted into any true foodie’s itinerary. The décor, service, food and wine menus all translate to the epitome of fine dining, with meals such as beef tartare, and steak, salad and mashed potato raising the bar on what a classic and

classy dining experience should be. If you enjoy being treated like royalty, this will be your new favourite place.


A newcomer on the Gold Coast dining scene is KŌST Bar & Grill, which boasts stunning decor, and equally artful dishes inspired by the raw, natural and ever-changing beauty of Australia’s coastline. Clever gold KŌST branding on its tables and marbled floors make it a content creators’ dream – as do the beautifully calming palette of pale pistachio and sandstone, with gold and grey accents in all the right places. The menu has many classics on it (think chargrilled

Escape 32 TrulyAus
The stunning ceviche at Miss MoneyPenny; Taste exciting gins from Cauldron Distillery; Step into elegance at Kōst. Images: supplied.

octopus, lobster, lamb cutlets and Wagyu rump steaks) but it’s the way in which all produce great and small is prepared, cooked and presented that makes KŌST so exceptional.

For a more laidback, elegant dining experience with jaw-dropping views from Burleigh Heads of the beach and the iconic Gold Coast skyline, The Tropic is the place to be. It has a Mediterranean-meetsAustralian menu, pastel-perfect décor, and wonderful service. Share platters of oysters and buckets of prawns, bowls of superfood salads and mains such as fish and chips, pasta and pizza, with a big side of utterly awesome atmosphere. It’s also one of the best peoplewatching hubs in town.


Much like a movie star hitting the red carpet with sophisticated aplomb, Dorsett Gold Coast has arrived, offering a fresh take on opulence and style on the luxury hotel scene. The hotel’s suites embody the essence of the region – with calming blue and aquamarine hues in the decor punctuated by luxurious touches of bright teal and gold.

The lobby is a masterpiece of design – white marbled floors blended into soaring white ceilings, the backdrop for a modern sculptural display that consists of hundreds of delicate shell-like lights seemingly floating above. As night falls it is even more resplendent.


Relax poolside at Dorsett Gold Coast; A soothing spa treatment and the stunning lagoon pool at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. Images: supplied.

However it’s the hotel’s pool that has everyone talking. Suspended above the casino’s entrance is Isoletto Pool Club, a stunning pool boasting a clear glass wall, meaning those lucky enough to be swimming in it can be seen by passersby far below on the city streets. Surrounded by lounges and many niches to relax with some privacy, it also has its own clubhouse with a bar, so you can order snacks and cocktails to enjoy poolside.

Speaking of pools, for decades JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa has been famous for its saltwater lagoon pool complete with real fish, so guests can hire snorkelling gear and take a dip with the aquatic residents. There are winding canals between its other pools, with a current making drifting along a cinch, a waterfall with a hot spa beneath the cascading water, and a bar serving drinks, snacks and light lunches.

The hotel hosts the award-winning Citrique restaurant on the ground floor, where diners can enjoy a degustation created by Executive Chef Paul Smart; a smart teppanyaki restaurant Misono with chefs who know how to have fun with both the food and the music; and a lovely lobby restaurant with a poolside courtyard called Chapter & Verse. It’s ideal for a high tea or an afternoon cocktail, sitting by the lagoon pool in the sun.

The recently launched Spa by JW is an oasis of calm, with spa therapists who truly understand the meaning of relaxation and the attainment of peacefulness. From the moment guests step into the soul-soothing space, there is a sense of leaving the world behind, although stepping into your beautifully appointed suite here is also akin to finding a haven away from home. And isn’t that why we all travel?

Visit TA

Escape JUNE/JULY 2024 33



If you’re itching to travel the world again, but every destination on your bucket list seems so far away, all is not lost! Here are seven stand-ins for popular destinations abroad that might even be a better choice.

34 TrulyAus Explore


Scattered with icy peaks, evergreen forests and icy fjords, Tasmania’s winter landscape is hard to tell apart from the vast Nordic scenery that Scandinavia is famous for. Start your days with spectacular hikes exploring the snow-covered summit of Cradle Mountain or the enigmatic tundra of kunanyi/Mount Wellington, and cosy up beside the fire Hygge-style as the sun sets early.

The nights are long and clear around this time of the year in Tasmania, which makes the conditions perfect for stargazing. Make sure to look out for aurora australis, the southern equivalent of the northern lights, that may be slightly fainter in this hemisphere but certainly just as spectacular. To round up your trip with a day in the city, stroll around Hobart’s port –filled with galleries, high-end boutiques and award-winning restaurants, which can certainly pass for Copenhagen. While you’re at it, take in the vistas crammed with sailboats and picturesque historic buildings.


While skiing and snowboarding are commonly associated with an expensive getaway to the Austrian Alps, Falls Creek proves that Australia’s mountain ranges can easily keep up with popular European winter destinations.

In this European style resort, there are 90 runs that transform the face of this stunning Alpine National Park into a snow sport haven. From take-it-easy Wombat’s Ramble (the longest green run in Australia) to plenty of black runs and even some freestyle terrain parks where the pros practise, Falls Creek caters to all skill levels and ages.

Down in the charming village, families, honeymooners and other guests can stay in accommodations ranging from a grand hotel, to the most awarded ski lodge in Australia (Astra Lodge) to more simplistic digs that will have you from your bed and on to the white stuff in no time. After a day of outdoor adventures, recharge at one of the many bars or restaurants with some hot mulled wine, or a local craft beer and a huge array of dinner options. On Thursdays, head to the village bowl for the weekly night show of fireworks that celebrate snow season at Falls Creek in style.


Located at the outskirts of Melbourne, the acclaimed Yarra Valley is the perfect weekend getaway for wine connoisseurs and nature enthusiasts who appreciate the finer things in life. Not only are the inviting wineries and thriving art scene reminiscent of rural 

OPPOSITE AND THIS PAGE: Cosy lights twinkle in the Falls Creek alpine village. Image: TNE; Snow-covered wilderness at Dove Lake near Cradle Mountain.

California, but the Valley is also home to its own enchanting redwood forest. First planted 90 years ago as a hydrology experiment, the towering trees that get their name from their reddish bark still stand tall to this day and are best explored in winter when all the crowds have gone.

Another perk of visiting this pictureperfect valley during this time of the year is traditional fireside dining. Enjoy a glass or two of the celebrated local sparkling wines, that rival California’s world-class whites, before an open fireplace and indulge in local foods at one of several eateries overlooking vineyards and rolling hills. Situated in the middle of these vast landscapes, TarraWarra Museum of Art is an absolute stunner of a destination created by philanthropists – the late Marc Besen AC and Eva Besen AO – who were passionate collectors of Australian art from the 1950s. Not only did they gift the building that houses the Museum, but also a significant proportion of their collection of modern and contemporary Australian.


Climbing the rugged peaks of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco may be on every trekker’s bucket list, but the Flinders Ranges are a destination for outdoor lovers that are equally as spectacular. Here, June, July and August are the prime trekking months. Temperatures are moderate, which is ideal to keep hikers cool during explorations, and there’s more rainfall, which attracts wallabies, wombats and other wildlife to newly filled waterholes. It’s a truly fascinating event in this seemingly barren landscape.

While the Atlas Mountains are rich with untouched North African culture, the Aboriginal history of the Flinders

Ranges is just as prominent. Learn about the ranges’ significance in Adnyamathanha lore and culture and access otherwise private locations with a local First Nations’ guide. While the days are filled with adventure, the evenings are tranquil in the Flinders Ranges. Especially dramatic in winter, the sunsets paint the weathered peaks in golden colours that seem to illuminate the ancient rock formations from within.


With its rocky cliffs, wild waters and seemingly endless stretches of green fields, King Island is especially reminiscent of the Emerald Isle in winter. Embrace the solitude and stormy weather with a stay at one

 Explore 36 TrulyAus
You won’t find these locals in Morocco! Emus in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Image: Emile Ristevski; Hot air ballooning over the Yarra Valley. Image: Visit Victoria; The Yarra Valley’s sparkling wines rival California’s worldclass whites. Image: Rob Blackburn.

of the many quaint old cottages in Currie, the island’s largest town that lies on the west coast, or splash out on a luxurious retreat. Explore the scenic harbour, duck into the shops at Currie Community Market Hall and play a round at one of the world-class golf courses perched above the ocean.

The beaches on King Island are rough and rugged in winter, just like the Irish North Sea. Take a walk along Disappointment Bay, the sandy stretch that gets its name from the convict ship Neva, which sank off the coast in 1835, or head to Grassy Harbour. Here, you can observe the local fairy penguins waddling back from the sea to their burrows every night. Foodies will also have the chance to indulge in plenty of local delicacies. Mainly famous for its fresh crayfish and abalone, beef and dairy products, the island attracts visitors every year just for its mouth-watering local produce.

secluded bays and tranquil waters make the coast a perfect place for humpback whale calves and their mothers to have a frolic and rest during their annual migration.



While the Algarve may be home to one of the most stunning coastlines in Europe, it also shares a lot of similarities with WA’s breathtakingly beautiful Esperance. Avoid the 24-hour long haul and make your way to one of the most remote regions in Australia, that is also renowned for distinguishable remarkably rugged cliffs and bright turquoise waters. As the masses tend to visit Esperance in summer, you can have its pristine beaches all to yourself during the cooler months, where temperatures drop to a comfortable 17°C during the day.

It is the perfect time for unforgettable four-wheel drive adventures at Cape Le Grand National Park, and hikes along the cliffs reminiscent of world-famous Praia do Barranco. Another highlight of winter in Esperance is the whale watching season. From June to October the

For those seeking a more tropical retreat in the winter months, Port Douglas is the ideal stand-in destination for the Mexican town of Puerto Vallarta. Compared to its touristy neighbour Cairns, it’s more of a bustling village than a city, but is packed with resorts, restaurants, galleries and clothing and homewares stores. With its “less is more” mentality – i.e. no excessive constructions or imposing multinational resorts – Port Douglas is the perfect place to recharge in a relaxing environment without having to deal with all the crowds coming to Queensland around this time of the year.

Port Douglas is also the only place in the world where two World Heritage areas meet – the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Whether you are looking for intense wild water rafting tours and diving adventures or relaxing strolls through lush greenery and refreshing dips in the ocean, it’s all there up north. TA

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Currie Lighthouse on rugged King Island. Image: Tourism Australia; Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland; The pristine waters and coastline near Esperance. Image: Tourism Australia.
Explore 38 TrulyAus
Valley Coast

MACLEAY VALLEY COAST This is winter on the

What is there to do in a coastal region when the weather turns chilly? The answer is – plenty! Winter on the Macleay Valley Coast is all about soaking up fresh air during the day and snuggling up by the fire at night.

Words: Emily Riches


With clear blue skies and crisp mornings, winter is the perfect time to pull on your hiking boots and hit the trails. Start with the circumnavigation of Korogoro Point on “The Hat” Walking Track. This 4-kilometre trek offers spectacular coastal views and encounters with native wildlife. Don’t forget your binoculars! Winter is whale watching season, so there’s plenty of opportunities to spot these gentle giants making their way along the


up at Waves

shore. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, as well as kangaroos hopping through the bush.

For a shorter but equally beautiful stroll, head to the Jack Perkins walking track near Smoky Cape picnic area. Boasting some of the most panoramic vistas in Hat Head National Park – not to mention lush flora, and sightings of swamp wallabies and glossy black cockatoos – this trail is a nature lover’s

dream. The track opens up to heathland, where a boardwalk leads down to the picturesque palm-fringed North Smoky Beach. Have a dip if you’re feeling brave!


It’s a local’s secret that winter is the best time to go camping on the Macleay Valley Coast. Enjoy clear

Warming Campground. Image: Destination NSW; Stunning views at Hat Head above Korogoro Creek.

starry nights snuggled up around the campfire with marshmallows or a hot choccy in hand – and no pesky mosquitoes in sight!

For the ultimate outdoor adventure, pitch your tent at Waves Campground in Crescent Head. Set within unique and unspoiled bushland, this campground is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Delicate Nobby Beach is just across the road and offers many great spots for fishing, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving or just relaxing. Keen surfers can hit any of the nearby breaks and spend their days exploring pristine beaches. With professional and friendly staff, an on-site cafe with barista-made coffee and treats, a camp kitchen, hot showers, laundry and washingup facilities, Waves certainly feels like a home away from home. If roughing it isn’t your style but you are keen on the location, opt for a cosy night in one of the other nearby accommodation options such as Crescent Moon or the Big Hill Beach Cottages.


For a more luxurious escape, book a stay at The Gallery Farm. Tucked away in the Collombatti foothills, this farm

retreat offers a beautifully designed one-bedroom guest cottage with breath-taking views. The major drawcard is a sauna housed in a red cedar barrel and a plunge pool with views of the surrounding scenery. From relaxing on the terrace with a glass of local wine to steaming your troubles away in the sauna, The Gallery Farm is sure to be a memorable stay.

For a truly immersive experience in nature, head to Nulla Nulla Blacksmiths Farm in Bellbrook. This idyllic retreat combines sustainable farming practices with boutique accommodation. Here, you can book in for a massage, order an organic vegetable box or even try a yoga class. As night falls, warm yourself up by the pot belly stove – and make sure to look up! The expansive night skies are considered some of the clearest in Australia, with brilliant views of the Milky Way.


No trip to the Macleay Valley Coast would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Head to the Heritage Hotel of Gladstone in the charming village of Gladstone, with the best beer and live music in the valley. Enjoy soaking up the winter sun on


Winter is the perfect time to hit the trails; Patrons at Bellbrook Hotel; Have a sauna then take a cold plunge at The Gallery Farm. Image: The Gallery Farm; Enjoy some pub grub at the Heritage Hotel Gladstone.

the upstairs veranda or cosy up inside with some classic pub feeds like chicken parmigiana, burgers, fish and chips and more.

Make your way upriver to the Bellbrook Hotel for more hearty pub grub and a taste of true Aussie hospitality. This delightful country pub has views of the river, and a menu full of favourites to keep the whole family happy. From Korean chicken wings to a selection of mouthwatering burgers, this historic pub is sure to satisfy your appetite after a day of adventure. TA

Rex flies to Port Macquarie

JUNE/JULY 2024 41

WILD EYRE A taste of

Flying across the Eyre Peninsula into Port Lincoln, one thing is abundantly clear – this busy town of 15,000 residents has more than its fair share of stunning waterways framing an array of pristine landscapes that would bring joy to any adventurer’s heart.

42 TrulyAus Destination

Port Lincoln comes to life before the sun has even risen – fishing boats and trawlers heading into the marina in the darkness of the early hours, the glow of another day spreading across the ocean as boxes of prawns, mussels and fish are piled high on pallets and forklifted up for the beginning of their journey.

Locals head out for walks and runs along the foreshore and, as the sun continues to rise, café doors are opening and seating is arranged on the pavements. Trucks, utes, and 4WDs flood the roads as tradies and tourists make early starts, while the scent of freshly baked muffins, bread and croissants drifts down the main street.

Whichever way you look in Port Lincoln – famous for its incredible seafood – water is not far. It’s the heart of this region and the reason why the first settlers decided to build a community here. To this day, most of the lives in these parts are dependent on it – the ocean and bays supporting both industry and tourism.


Drive 15 minutes any which way out of Port Lincoln and the houses quickly disappear in the rear vision mirror, replaced by sweeping lands of scrub,

agricultural fields, stony or sandy beaches, and hills covered in toughas-nails native plants. The sea breezes are a constant reminder of how close the water is, and the fauna a sign of how hard it would have been to tame this wild terrain when the early settlers arrived in the 1800s.

Lincoln National Park is one of many areas in these parts where visitors can camp, 4WD and experience the rugged, desert-like country that is prevalent in this part of South Australia.

To get a true understanding of this remarkable region, take a tour with a company such as Untamed Escapes, which as its name suggests, focuses on eco-tourism and exploring off-the-beaten track locations.

The expert guides know the regions, and the history, like the backs of their hands.

Untamed goes above and beyond to deliver an authentic experience that leaves guests with memories to last a lifetime.

Entering the 206 square kilometre national park – where visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, beachcombing, swimming, bird watching, whale watching and walking – the dense low-lying scrub is scattered with bright native flowers like sweet bursts of sprinkles. This sets the scene for

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Enjoying wine among the vines at Boston Bay Wines. Image: Kinship Productions; Port Lincoln township. Image: Doddlife Photography; Guide book. Image: Mikaela Frick Photography.

the palette of natural beauty unfurling in every direction, and within half an hour, the majestic cliffs that are synonymous with the Great Australian Bite appear – like guardians protecting the edge of the world.

Lincoln National Park is a sand duning heaven with sweeping hills and mountains of soft, golden sand spanning off into the distance. Tangled networks of 4WD, emu and goanna tracks criss-cross over footprints. The landscape is so sandy and barren that it could be the Middle East, and yet pop over the top of a massive sand dune and there’s the wild Southern Ocean, glistening blue, crashing up against red and cream sandstone cliffs that few would dare to scale.

Further out, and only ten minutes by boat from Port Lincoln, is a littleknown place called Louth Island, and upon it is Rumi – a luxury eco paradise

that is all about embracing the wild while on an unforgettable escape. Established in 1802 as a sheep farm, it is now a place where the raw beauty of the landscape offers a retreat embodying the essence of barefoot luxury travel.

Guests can stay in one of the island’s beautifully designed lodges, with stunning views in every direction, and everything they need for a private, indulgent holiday. They can choose from immersive day-long excursions or a two-night stay, both offering wild and wonderful experiences such as Odyssey Catamaran cruises, gourmet dining, wildlife and ecology buggy tours, kayak fishing expeditions, and beach picnics. Bird enthusiasts will delight in the diverse avian population, including seabirds, shorebirds, and the adorable Fairy Penguins. Free from invasive species such as snakes

and rodents, Louth Island offers a safe haven for its native wildlife, including geckos and goannas.

It’s all about immersive experiences here, and with its stunningly white sands merging into turquoise waters, it perfectly encapsulated the rugged South Australian beauty. Rumi is gradually being meticulously developed by its owners, and so intrepid travellers can enjoy being some of the first visitors to step foot on the island.


It would be a crime to come to this part of the world – known as Australia’s Seafood Frontier – and not indulge in the local wine and seafood.

 Destination 44 TrulyAus
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Stunning rooms at Rumi; Whalers Way in Lincoln National Park; Explore with Untamed Escapes. Image: Tourism Australia; Port Lincoln sand dunes. Image: BRZY PTY LTD.

shop online with code: trulyaus THE BAYS BEST CHOCOLATE shop online with code: trulyaus MADE IN PORT LINCOLN @bostonbay_gourmet @alchemelliaskincare Where in Australia can you sip on world-class wine, take in breath-taking scenery, and watch on as dolphins play and whales swim by? The answer? Boston Bay Wines.

Boston Bay Winery is only a tenminute drive from Port Lincoln airport and less than ten minutes from the main township, and its wines are as crisp and fresh as the air in these parts. For lovers of white wine, try the Boston Bay Riesling for one of the lightest most elegant wines you’ll find, or if you’d prefer to taste a wider array, opt for the paddle of four wines. Sit indoors or out on the green lawns with sweeping, awe-inspiring views across the vineyards and out across Boston Bay. The menu has a range of delicious meals such as fish and chips and pizzas, light snacks, and an impressive grazing platter generously laden with wonderful local produce.

On the outskirts of Port Lincoln, The Fish Place is the place to go for the biggest range of seafood you’ll ever find in one store, along with a huge range of other food products, art, décor and more. Sit indoors in the quirky café that is a part of the bustling seafood marketplace, or sit outdoors on a lovely deck overlooking Proper Bay. It serves up some of the best deepwater flathead and chips you’ll find in the country, straight from the ocean and on to your plate.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Taste fresh oysters with Experience Coffin Bay. Image: Kinship Productions; A gourmet box from The Boston Bay Collective on Tasman Terrace; Have a tipple at Boston Bay Wines.

The small, picturesque township of Coffin Bay, globally renowned for its oyster farming, is on the western tip of the Southern Eyre Peninsula, and only a 20-minute drive from Port Lincoln. Visitors can embark on many types of oyster tours, such as the Short n Sweet 75-minute tour with Experience Coffin Bay. Guests are seated at dining tables on a trawler-type boat that glides out to the oyster leases for an hour-long talk about the history of oyster farming, and how an oyster grows from spat to plate. Guests are then served six oysters with beverages to enjoy while cruising. Over at Oyster HQ, visitors don waders and head out to an oyster lease to enjoy a talk about the industry while being served oysters paired with sparkling wine on white-clothed tables.


Port Lincoln is home to many artists and creators of delicious produce. For beer lovers, there are two incredible breweries in town where you can meet locals and other visitors while enjoying music and great vibes: Jump Ship Brewing and Beer Garden Brewing, both run by locals who are passionate about the art of brewing. For those into their spirits and cocktails, West Coast Distilling Co. is a fun bar and eatery that has a Bottomless Brunch, where cocktails are paired with a great menu focused on local produce. The best way to see all the local produce in one place is by visiting The Boston Bay Collective on Tasman Terrace. The store started out as a 

Destination 46 TrulyAus


Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre

P: 1300 788 378




Nestled along the pristine shores of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Port Lincoln is a true coastal gem, home to locals that are known as some of the most welcoming in Australia. With its breath-taking landscapes, vibrant cultural scene and thriving seafood industry, this charming town beckons travellers to immerse themselves in its unique blend of relaxation and adventure.

When in town be sure to visit the award-winning Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre in the heart of the CBD. Open seven days a week, the team of friendly locals can help you with itineraries, tours, bookings and more. They also have top tips for bucket-list experiences, as well as fantastic places to eat, stay and play. This Visitor Information Centre was awarded gold in the 2023 South Australian Tourism Awards, so you’re in good hands!


✔ Taste our premium local seafood, some of the best in world.

✔ Indulge in our local wine, gin and beer.

✔ Experience the rugged beauty of Lincoln National Park and Whalers Way.

✔ Discover a range of extraordinary experiences and tours.

✔ Learn about the history of Port Lincoln by visiting , or take a walk on the Parnkalla Walking Trail.


company that created beautifully presented, carefully curated boxes of locally made gourmet goodies, to becoming a stylish gallery-like store that stocks produce from the entire region. From handmade beef jerky, artisan chocolate, honey, tinned tuna and cookies, to wine, beer and spirits, it really is a gourmand’s dream. There’s also jewellery, scarves, body products, homewares and so much more to check out. Pack an extra bag so that you can quite literally take home a taste of the Eyre.

Next door you’ll find the Visitor Information Centre, which not only has plenty of information on everything to see and do, but also friendly staff who go the extra mile to ensure that all visitors leave packed with inspiring ideas for their next adventure. Next to this is the local gallery and store called Nautilus Arts Centre, also brimming with local produce, art, homewares and more.


When Mathew Flinders sailed into these parts in 1802, he and his crew were greeted by the Barngarla people, who had been living on the land and from the water for tens of thousands of years. Port Lincoln was then called Galinyala – which means ‘place of sweet water’ – and they believed that the English men were the spirits of their ancestors returned from the islands where they travelled after their burial.

The Barngarla people helped show the first settlers where to locate fresh water, which saved their lives. However, once the fences started going up, and the Barngarla people were effectively excluded from the settlement, things took a dark turn and the English settlers and First Nations people entered into a decades-long war.

Today, all the locals want to work together to ensure that everyone who comes to the region has a connection with Country.

To learn about the Indigenous heritage of Port Lincoln and surrounds, you can join a tour with Emmalene Richards of Maba Idi Cultural Tours (with Untamed Escapes), who works with her family, including her son Kaiden Hancock-Richards, to convey some of the many stories which help visitors understand how the past has affected the present. Emmalene’s tours focus on areas such as bush tucker, the importance of the land and sea, remembering and learning from the past, moving forward and honouring her ancestors.

“There is something in the water here,” she says. “My people are incredibly proud of our land and the water here. The modern fishing industry that has developed here today is based on principles and techniques of the traditional fishing knowledge of the Gallinyalla and Barngala people. That makes this region so unique.” TA

Rex flies to Port Lincoln.


The Port Lincoln Racing Club, situated on the stunning Eyre Peninsula, is a premier destination for horse racing enthusiasts and socialites alike.

Renowned for its picturesque coastal setting, Port Lincoln Racing Club hosts a vibrant community and a range of thrilling racing events all year long.

Visitors descend for major highlights including the New Years Eve celebrations and the premiere Cup event.

In 2025, the club is thrilled to announce a two day cup carnival, on Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February. It’s set to be the biggest racing event in the regional calendar, and bound to delight with hospitality packages showcasing the region’s best fine dining and seafood producers, as well as raceday features including Fashions on the Field, interactive competitions, live music and plenty of sightseeing opportunities.

It’s the perfect event for race lovers and social groups looking for a unique experience in the Eyre Peninsula.

With a rich history of excellence in racing, top-tier facilities, and a commitment to providing unforgettable experiences, the Port Lincoln Racing Club is the perfect blend of sport, style, and seaside charm. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or casual visitor, Port Lincoln Racing Club offers a welcoming blend of exhilarating racing and top tier hospitality.

Head online to to book your tickets and send your enquiries today!


Port Lincoln:

Untamed Escapes:

Rumi on Louth:

Boston Bay Wines:

The Fresh Fish Place:

Experience Coffin Bay:

Oyster Farm Tours & Oyster HQ:

Boston Bay Collective:

Port Lincoln Racing Club:

LEFT TO RIGHT: Fishing boat at Lincoln National Park. Image: Santiago Gonzalez Redondo; Port Lincoln Racing Club.
Destination 48 TrulyAus


Gascoyne Food Festival

The foodie event of the year, the Gascoyne Food Festival, is back this August and September 2024, celebrating the vibrant food culture, diverse flavours and cultural heritage of the Gascoyne region.

Aptly nicknamed ‘the food bowl’ of Western Australia, the stunning Gascoyne region is located around 900km north of Perth. It is home to a rich bounty of fishing, aquaculture, agriculture and pastoral industries with an annual gross output of $1.196 billion.

This incredibly fertile land is known for its abundance of tropical fruits, succulent seafood, beef and sheep stations – and the Gascoyne Food Festival is all about putting this incredible produce, and the people behind it, on show.

The diverse calendar of events promises food, music, cultural and community spirit, and the very best of Gascoyne’s culinary scene for all ages to enjoy.

“From exclusive long table dinners and lunches to community gatherings, each event offers a unique opportunity to indulge in the finest local fare and

immerse oneself in Gascoyne’s vibrant food culture,” says Chris Higham, Gascoyne Food Council Chair.


Kicking things off is the Carnarvon Long Table Lunch on 3 August. With tables set against the backdrop of a lush banana plantation, guests can indulge in a sumptuous feast featuring quality, locally sourced ingredients, paddock-to-plate style.

The iconic Bullara Station will be hosting the exclusive Long Table Dinner on 10 August in its historic 120-year-old woolshed, with their very own beef on the menu.

Head Chef Toby Fisher and Pastry Chef Maree Fisher – both trained in French cuisine at a Michelin-star level – note the evening promises French bistro classics infused with the unique flavours of Gascoyne’s local produce.

READ IT ONLINE 50 TrulyAus Regional bites

“Bullara has become famous for our outback hospitality and dinner experiences and we’re looking forward to turning up the heat for this Frenchinspired long table dinner,” Toby says.

This is just the beginning, with plenty more iconic events hosted in some stunning Western Australian locations, including Carnarvon’s Gwoondwardu Mia Centre, the Carnarvon Fascine, Gascoyne Junction Pub, Mount Augustus Tourist Park and Exmouth Whalebone.


Timothy Bray, CEO of the Gascoyne Development Commission, says it is important to celebrate the pastoralists, farmers and producers who work tirelessly to feed Australia.

“This event allows attendees to taste the local cuisine and gives them the chance to appreciate where it comes

from… this year the Carnarvon Mediterranean Long Table Feast will be set against the backdrop of a working banana plantation, giving visitors a chance to indulge in the ultimate paddock to plate experience.”

Foodies, make sure to add this not-to-be-missed festival to your calendars!

The event is proudly sponsored by Gascoyne Development Commission, Shire of Carnarvon, Tremor, Mundillya Homestead, and Norwesta Lifestyle Park. Visit

Rex flies to Carnarvon

Check out the Gascoyne Food and Beverage Guide!



Carnarvon, Saturday 3 August


Bullara Station Stay, Saturday 10 August


Gwoonwardu Mia, Friday 16 August


Carnarvon, Saturday 17 August

FLAVOURS OF THE GASCOYNE Gascoyne Junction, Saturday 24 August


Mount Augustus, Saturday 31 August


Exmouth, Friday 6 September

Follow on socials: @gascoynefoodfestival

Buy tickets:

Thanks to our host – Gascoyne Food Council – and sponsors

JUNE/JULY 2024 51
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Food, flavours, music and more! There’s plenty to get your mouth watering at this year’s Gascoyne Food Festival. Images: supplied.
Regional bites


• Cobb and Co Festival 16-25 August 2024

• Sculptures Out Back Until 29 September 2024

• Roma Country Music Festival 29-30 November 2024

• Easter in the Country 17-21 April 2025

Roma | Injune | Mitchell | Surat | Yuleba & Jackson | Wallumbilla | Carnarvon Gorge
SCAN ME @RomaRevealed
Where Country Meets The Outback


With winter

well and truly setting in, now is a great

time to get out and about in the Outback without worrying about the sweltering heat.
WORDs: matilda meikle

IN OUTBACK Queensland, you will find everything from stunning national parks to flowing rivers and unique native wildlife. Immerse yourself in Queensland's natural beauty and discover more about this region’s fascinating past.


The small town of Roma is located in the heart of the Maranoa region, and boasts plenty of exciting opportunities for adventurous spirits to walk on the wild side.

The Carnarvon Ranges are an extensive reserve of sandstone cliffs, gorges and rivers dating back 200 million years. The ranges are home to more than 170 bird species, 60 mammal species and 2,000 examples of Aboriginal rock art, meaning there is so much to see when hiking here.


For a full experience, we suggest joining Boobook Explore on the Lost World Carnarvons (Wallaroo) day tour. Departing from Roma, this experience takes small groups deep into the ranges where knowledgeable guides point out Aboriginal axe-grinding

stones, rare native animals and natural features including gorges and rivers. If you’d rather stick closer to home, Roma Bush Gardens span 14 hectares and feature 11 different communities of vegetation. The gardens are popular with locals who enjoy

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The rugged cliffs of the Carnarvon Ranges; Colourful gardens in Queens Park, Toowoomba. Images: Tourism & Events Queensland.

birdwatching and wandering the path beside Railway Dam, where interpretive panels provide extra information about the different plant species that call this area home.

For another popular walk, the Agungadoo Pathway takes visitors past Roma’s largest bottle tree and the Big Red Parklands. Winding along Bungil Creek, you will get up close to ancient river gums and local wildlife.


The Balonne River is a 479 kilometrelong water feature that runs straight through the St George Region before connecting with the Murray-

outside St George. The Cotton Self-Drive Trail is a great way to learn more about this fascinating industry while viewing endless fields of cotton.

Darling Basin. While there is a 2 kilometre path that takes you along the banks, locals often enjoy canoeing, kayaking and boating on the pristine waters.

For a comprehensive guide to the region, you can join a Sandytown River Cruise. Hosted by Brett Schweikert, this two-hour-long cruise follows the Balonne River as Brett offers insight into the local community and wildlife, including the 230 species of birds in the region. Full moon cruises are also available for those wishing to see St George under the stars.

If you’re looking for a day trip, we suggest heading to the fully operational cotton farm located just


No visit to Toowoomba would be complete without stopping by the extensive garden grounds. At Queens Park, you can wander 26.3 hectares of tree-lined avenues, botanicals, woodlands, playgrounds and more. During winter, the park takes on an evergreen colour, with manicured hedges and vibrant lawns making the perfect spot for a picnic or morning stroll.

Spanning just over 4 hectares, Laurel Bank Park is a much smaller attraction, but still has plenty to offer. Here, visitors will find manicured gardens, colourful flowers and fountains. Heading towards the

54 TrulyAus
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Roma's largest bottle tree; The Cotton Self-Drive Trail; Laurel Park in Toowoomba; A stunning sunset over the Balonne River. Images: Tourism & Events Queensald.

centre, you will come across the scented garden, which is full of fragrant roses and herbs. All throughout the grounds, visitors should keep their eyes out for exotic trees, unique birds and even croquet greens where novices and experts try their hand at a game or two.

A short 50 kilometre drive from Toowoomba, you will find the stunning Lake Cressbrook. There are 30 unpowered campsites on the shores of this lake, ideal for nights spent sleeping under the stars. Guests are also encouraged to try fishing, canoeing and kayaking along the water during the day, with kitchen and BBQ facilities available for a hearty meal after a long afternoon of exploring. The Lake Cressbrook walking trail is another popular walk in the area, and spans just over 7 kilometres through the bush. TA

Rex flies to Rex flies to Roma, St George and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Discover unique places and awaken a sense of wonder

Explore Roma and mesmerising Carnarvon Ranges. Visit private places few get to see. Boobook Explore | 15 Quintin Street Roma | +61 7 4622 2646 Eco-inspired Day Tours and Holidays
Reveal its nature. Share its secrets.


From its origins as a penal colony to its evolution into a thriving urban centre, Brisbane's heritage sites offer a glimpse into its fascinating history.

WORDs: EMily Riches

READ IT ONLINE 56 TrulyAus Discover
THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE (CLOCKWISE): Aerial view of the city. Image: Tourism & Events Qld; His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales, laying the foundation stone of Brisbane Town Hall, 1920; Edward St from Jacob's Ladder c1913; Constructing Brisbane City Hall c1926; George E. Adam's cake shop in Brisbane Arcade, 1938. Images: State Library of Queensland.

BRISBANE IS a city steeped in rich history and vibrant culture. The history of the area stretches back over 60,000 years as the home of the Yuggera and Turrbal peoples. The traditional name for the area is Meanjin, which means “the spearhead.” This sacred location served as an important place for trade and cultural exchange where communities would barter resources, including spearheads and other highly sought-after goods.

In 1824 it became the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement and was briefly called Edenglassie (a portmanteau of the Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow), before becoming known as Brisbane in 1834 to honour Sir Thomas Brisbane, then Governor of New South Wales. In 1859, Brisbane became the capital of the newly independent colony of Queensland. The bustling city carries within its

buildings and landmarks the echoes of this storied past. As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter a plethora of Heritage-listed sites, each with its own tale to tell.


City Hall is at the heart of historic Brisbane. Since opening in 1930, it has played an important social and cultural role in the lives of Brisbane communities, earning the title of the ‘People’s Place’. City Hall took 10 years to build at a cost of 1 million pounds, making it one of Australia’s most expensive buildings and the second-largest construction project of its time (outdone only by the Sydney Harbour Bridge).

The Museum of Brisbane is located on City Hall’s third level and is the perfect place to explore Brisbane’s history. Daily guided tours also

showcase the Main Auditorium, Father Henry Willis Organ and the iconic Clock Tower. The Clock Tower Tour includes a ride in one of Brisbane’s oldest working cage lifts, where you can look behind Australia’s largest analogue clock faces. Catch a 360-degree view of the city from the observation platform at the top!

City Hall is just one stop on the City Centre Heritage Trail, a self-guided walking tour which includes other heritage gems such as Regent Theatre, Brisbane Arcade, Anzac Square, Jacob’s Ladder and St Stephen’s Cathedral.


Established in 1828 to provide food for the early penal colony, the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are historically and culturally 

JUNE/JULY 2024 57

significant. Officially opened in 1855, the gardens are a ‘living museum’, and can be explored on self-guided walks or free guided tours.

While at the gardens, you can also visit Parliament House and Old Government House. Parliament House is Queensland’s premier heritage building, and one of Brisbane’s most well-known landmarks. Built in 1868, the interiors have been beautifully restored with the principal rooms retaining much of their original, purpose-made furniture. On sitting days, you can observe the Parliament in session from the public gallery.

Old Government House has seen 11 governors and their families over a period of almost 50 years. It is now a historic house museum showcasing the story of the House and those who lived and worked there.


Nothing says Brisbane quite like XXXX beer. But did you know that there has been a brewery on the site in Milton since 1878, when the first Castlemaine Brewery was established? In 1889 the brewery became the first in Queensland to produce lagerstyle beers.

The iconic brick Moderne building which today houses the brewery was built between 1940 and 1956, with the central tower block containing the brewhouse built in the 1940s. Visitors can tour the brewery to get filled in on over 145 years of brewing history, with 90-minute tours available. You’ll learn about your favourite brews, worldclass brewing methods and how to pour the perfect XXXX – followed by a tasting session in the Alehouse.


No exploration of Brisbane’s heritage would be complete without a visit to

the Old Windmill Tower in Spring Hill: the city’s oldest building and a symbol of its dark past. Built by convicts in the late 1820s to process wheat and corn crops from the Moreton Bay penal settlement, it quickly became a place of punishment. Due to its mostly windless location, convicts were put to work on a treadmill to keep the arms and millstone turning – often in 8 kilogram leg irons for 14 hours a day. From 1894 to the 1950s a copper time ball (which still sits on the roof) was dropped at 1pm every day. Interestingly, it was here in 1934 that the first television signals in the southern hemisphere were transmitted. This pioneering broadcasting continued up until World War II.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ruins on St Helena Island; The XXXX Brewery; Inside Fort Lytton; BlackCard Cultural Tours in South Brisbane. Images: Tourism & Events Qld.


For a journey back in time, venture half an hour from the city where the echoes of World War I still resonate at Fort Lytton. This coastal fortification was built in 1881, and served as Brisbane’s first line of defence up until the 1930s. It is widely accredited as the birthplace of Queensland’s military history.

The well-preserved pentagonal fort is concealed behind grassy embankments and surrounded by a water-filled moat. Join a guided tour and immerse yourself in the history of the fort and its restored guns, which were designed to fire and disappear. Don’t miss the fascinating military museums which showcase everything from weapons and uniforms to wartime diaries and personal memorabilia, as well as an impressive collection of Australian artillery. Fort Lytton is open to the public every Sunday.


This picturesque island in Moreton Bay has a turbulent history as the

site of Queensland’s first penal settlement, which operated from 1867 until 1932. Accessible by boat from Manly or New Farm, you can take a guided tour to explore the ruins and hear the stories where they happened. There are short walking tracks to several historic sites at the southern end of the island that are accessible without a tour guide.

On the guided tour you’ll see the remains of the prison stockade including the bakery, workshops and underground tanks. Beyond the stockade discover stone ruins of warder accommodation, a sugar mill, lime kiln, jetty and Queensland’s first tramway. Middens reveal that local Aboriginal people visited the island seasonally, and hunted and collected flying foxes, dugongs, shellfish and other resources.


Take a stroll along the Nurri Millen Totem Trail at Boondall Wetlands, where you can learn about the Aboriginal heritage of the area.

Cast aluminium totems along the trail reveal how the clans used the wetlands. Follow the tracks, boardwalks and bikeways to spot an amazing array of flora and fauna, enjoy a picnic or visit the Conservation Centre for informative displays.

You can also explore the CBD on foot with BlackCard Cultural Tours, who will take you on a journey through the history of Meanjin’s first people. The three walking tours cover the city, Kurilpa and Parklands across 90-minute and three-hour formats. See a new side of the city and discover history, culture, flora, spiritual sites and public artworks that reflect Brisbane’s rich Indigenous culture. TA

Rex flies to Brisbane

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The imposing Old Windmill Tower in Spring Hill; BlackCard Cultural Tours; The Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Images: Tourism & Events Qld.


For Australians after a getaway where wonderful, friendly service goes hand in hand with barefoot luxury and the priceless gift of living on island time, it’s hard to beat Fiji.

WORDs: Michelle Hespe

There’s nothing quite like stepping off a plane and being enveloped in balmy Pacific Island air, beaming Fijians there to greet you like a long-lost friend with a resounding chorus of ‘Bula!’

And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to travel far to your little slice of luxurious paradise, the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau Island is calling.

Barely half an hour from the airport in a taxi will have you turning into the gravelled drive and checking into a spacious suite where the ocean and beach, nine pools, a spa, deli cafe and three restaurants await. Everything you need is within a short walk and The Bula Express buses run from 7am to 10pm, making it an ideal place for families to enjoy without a care in the world.


Let’s face it, even if you love your kids to the moon and back, it’s nice for them to be whisked away while you enjoy some adults-only time –and there is a complimentary kids club for kids aged 3-12 years to keep them entertained for hours on end.

Koro is the resort’s exclusive adults-only area, where guests can eat, drink, and most importantly, relax in a beautifully landscaped area that’s home to two stunning beachfront pools. Although families can dine from 5.30-7.30pm, the rest of the time is for the adults, and live entertainment adds to the magical island vibes.

Over at Maravu restaurant and bar – which is on the beach surrounded by palm trees, tropical gardens and views of the Pacific Ocean with mountains in the distance – enjoy delicious Pan-Asian cuisine in a restaurant lit up by candles at night.

At Nuku, indulge in a tender steak or the Yasawa Waters lobster with a cocktail, beer or wine, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere by the main pool next to the beach. Order drinks from your pool lounge and if you are feeling energetic, get in on the fun and partake in water aerobics with dance music and Fijian instructors pumping up the crowds of laughing revellers.


Guests have access to kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, and there’s a sight-seeing tour desk where you can organise a day out. However if it’s pamper time you’re after, take a Bula bus to the resort’s award-winning spa and indulge in a mineral hot stone therapy treatment or a traditional Fijian massage. You can also enjoy a manicure or facial at a quaint poolside pavilion with views of the ocean spread before you. Bliss. TA

READ IT ONLINE 60 TrulyAus Pacific Inspiration
Soak up the views by the beachfront pool; Enjoy a relaxing massage in the spa; Wind down in the Gardenview Guestroom. Images: supplied.

19 - 25 AUGUST 2024



A Taste of Italy Griffith is a week long celebration showcasing Griffith’s authentic Italian culture and warm hospitality. Enjoy shopping, cellar door and dining experiences, live music and local events as you taste your way around Griffith from 19 - 25 August 2024. You’ll be spoilt for choice with an impressive range of Italian inspired festivities for the whole family to enjoy.


TrulyAus Products

Aussie-made products to add some colour, cosiness and fun to winter.

1. The Rabbit Hole – Floral Trilogy

The Rabbit Hole is a familyowned business using the best native ingredients and bush foods to produce world-class teas. The Floral Trilogy comes in three handcrafted tea tins, and celebrates the unique flavours of pink chai, passionflower and butterfly pea flower. Warm up after a long day with a delicious cup of aromatic tea.


2. Clean & Pure – Manuka Honey Lip Balm

Clean & Pure uses the best natural and unprocessed resources in its skincare. The Manuka Honey Lip Balm comes in plastic-free packaging and uses food-grade ingredients only. The balm naturally moisturises and nourishes the skin. It’s the perfect way to prevent dry, chapped lips in this chilly weather!


3. Otto & Spike – Bail Lambswool Beanie

This classic beanie will quickly become a staple of your winter wardrobe. Made from premium quality lambs wool, the soft feel doesn’t take away from the simple and stylish design. Every product is made locally in an East Brunswick factory, ensuring the highest quality every time.


4. Leroy Mac Designs – Leroy Sheep Scarf

Rug up and keep warm thanks to these cosy merino wool scarves from Leroy Mac Designs. Naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, the soft and durable material provides warmth and comfort, made using the company’s own Yalong Yarn. With options available in kid’s sizes, the whole family can match this winter.


5. Redback Boots – Easy Escape

Inspired by hard-working Aussies, Redback Boots produce durable, long-lasting and slip-resistant boots for all-day wear. The Easy Escape is a classic shoe employing specialty technology to prevent arch sagging and foot strain. With easy slip-on features, this shoe has you covered for all your outdoor winter adventures.


6. COBS – Microwave popcorn

Take movie nights to the next level with Cobs’ range of delicious buttery popcorn. Aussie corn kernels are popped to perfection and mixed with salt and a variety of other delicious toppings. Our favourite has to be the classic sea salt flavour for a tasty treat for the whole family.


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7. marshmallow club – sweet classic flavours

There’s nothing better than toasting a marshmallow over a campfire! At Marshmallow Club, there are more than 50 delicious flavours to choose from, including Gin and Tonic and Creme Brulee. The Sweet Classic Flavours bundle is packed with all the classic goodies, and is handmade in the NSW Blue Mountains.

From $16.50

10. Australian Stitch – Box hoodie

Australian Stitch collaborates with local fabric producers and dye houses to support other small Australian businesses. The box hoodie is designed as an oversized jumper for added warmth and style. Ethically manufactured and of exceptional quality, it comes in a range of unique colours to suit every taste.


8. Interknit – Heirloom Merino Blanket

This lightweight blanket is made using pure Australian merino wool, meaning it’s always gentle on newborn skin. Designed to keep babies warm and comfortable, the breathable fabric can be used year-round. The blanket comes in a variety of colours and boasts a stylish pattern, making it a perfect addition to the nursery.


11. fodbods – Bar Sample Pack

Every ingredient in a Fodbods product has been specially picked for its nutritional value, resulting in a clean, natural and delicious snack. The Sample Pack includes all the protein bar flavours, including Peanut Butter Choc Chunk and Raspberry Coconut. Using 100% natural ingredients, these bars are a super healthy and filling on-the-go treat.


9. one planet – Winter Lite Series sleeping bag

One Planet sleeping bags are made to order in Melbourne using ethicallysourced water-repellent fabrics for high performance every time. The Winter Lite series is made using water and wind resistant material and shaped to ensure maximum warmth. Perfect for winter hikes in bush, alpine and even extreme conditions.

From $879

12. Minijumbuk – Everyday Wool Quilt

A great year-round bed topper, the Everyday Wool Quilt uses Airlight Technology to provide superior insulation for a lighter, more comfortable quilt which naturally regulates sleeping temperature. The non-allergenic product is made in South Australia, and will keep you cosy all night long.


Aussie Made
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A relaxing weekend in Wollombi is made even more special by a tiny home on a block of land down the road from the picturesque historical town centre.

WORDs: Michelle Hespe

It’s animal instinct that leads us to finding shelter, food and water, and so there is something so special about having all that you need in a warm, cosy space that is completely surrounded by nature. In our Tiny Away home, The Wollombi Wanderer, on the outskirts of Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, we spent a weekend indulging in the surrounding wine region while also getting back to basics and enjoying an inky night sky filled with stars, an outdoor fire, and moments where it was just us and the local mobs of kangaroos eyeing us up through the charming morning mists.

Inside our Tiny Away home there was a bathroom with a toilet and full-sized shower, a small kitchen with everything we needed to prepare meals and make tea and coffee, a queen-sized bed and a table for two with views overlooking the paddocks and trees filled with warbling magpies.


In the local Indigenous language of the Darkinjung people, Wollombi means “meeting place of the waters” – and it is an important ceremonial

meeting place. There are more than 300 significant Aboriginal sites in Yengo National Park and surrounds dating back 13,000 years, with many beautiful spots accessible by walking trails and driving tracks.

The town, which was established in 1830 and is rich in colonial history, is home to around 1,100 residents. You can walk from one end of Wollombi to the other in five minutes, beginning at the Wollombi Tavern: a lovely old pub on the side of Yango Creek with a beer garden, wood panelled bar and bistro serving up great pub food.

Further into town is a general store that doubles up as Harp of Erin Gallery Café & Theatre, a quirky antique store called Forge, and a couple of cafes – Myrtle & Stone (which is also a wine bar with a great cocktail menu, live music and trivia) and Wollombi Kitchen,

which doubles as a homewares store and a stylish bar and restaurant.


Wollombi is the gateway to the Broke Forwich Wine Trail, which includes a range of stunning wineries, cellar door experiences and onsite restaurants –including award-winning Winmark Wines, Margan Wines and Restaurant and Krinklewood Estate – a distillery, and River Flats Estate, which is an organic family-owned olive grove that produces oils, chutneys, jams, honey and olives. It is also home to BARE Nature’sKin, which produces a range of wonderful handmade olive oil soaps and beauty products. Pack an extra bag as you’ll no doubt go home with lots of local produce and other goodies. Visit TA

READ IT ONLINE 64 TrulyAus Weekender
The interior of The Wollombi Wanderer; Stroll down Wollombi's charming main street. Image: Destination NSW; Tiny Away home in situ.
NEWS | SCIENCE | mining | agriculture | charity | TECHNOLOGY P.62 ausbiz. news p.66 Finance Feature P.74 bee parasite breakthrough P.76 ‘maggot robots’ to the rescue P.84 renewables in mining p.88 two new mental health apps p.96 the last word Can looking to the ancient past help us improve conservation strategies for animals and plants in the future? Palaeoconservationists say yes. June/July 2024 80. OLD BONES, NEW IDEAS

Australia builds the world’s first speech-tospeech AI

Australian experts have just unveiled the world’s first speechto-speech AI avatar agent. Designed by Elohim Technology LLC and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), this machine is programmed to understand and respond to conversations with human-like accuracy and empathy.

The AI is trained to understand a user’s emotional state and contextual cues, adapting its dialogue in order to engage in real-time, multilingual conversation. Elohim has also integrated teachings from the world’s leading spiritual leaders into the AI program, in an attempt to build an ethical framework into the system.

According to a spokesperson from Elohim, “this unveiling is a milestone not just in AI technology but in our journey towards creating a truly ethical AI. Our AI learns from human interactions, continuously evolving to serve better and understand deeper, reflecting our core mission to harmonize technology with spiritual wisdom.”

The team hopes that this machine will bring us closer to empathetic digital communication, and foster a culture of inclusion within the technological community.

Doctor Mukesh Prasad and Ali Braytee from UTS echoed this sentiment, stating “UTS is excited to co-host this event, showcasing a significant technological leap forward that

aligns perfectly with our focus on innovative and ethical technology development.”

Looking forward, Elohim is hoping to introduce this technology into sectors such as healthcare, disability and medicine.


The ACT Ambulance service has officially become the first in Australia to provide CellAED technology to their Remote Access Paramedics, empowering them to carry defibrillators into typically inaccessible locations.

CellAED is an ultra-compact defibrillator designed and manufactured in Australia. Weighing 450g, it is small enough for first responders to carry in their first aid kit in the event of an emergency cardiac arrest.

Around 30,000 Aussies experience sudden cardiac arrest every year, and less than 5 per cent survive. Implementing CPR or a defibrillator in the first minute, however, can increase the chance of survival by 70 per cent.

Joel Powell, Canberra Intensive Care Paramedic and Remote Access Paramedic Project Manager, explains the importance of providing paramedics with light, easy-toaccess technology. “It all comes down to weight, we need to reduce what the

paramedics carry around because often their vehicles need to be left behind when traversing remote and dense bushland.

“CellAED is the perfect weight and size, it helps our Remote Access Paramedics to be better equipped for any situation and ensures they have a broad spectrum of fit-for-purpose tools to save lives.”

The ACT State Emergency Service and the Australian Federal Police are also adopting this important technology into their services.

According to Mark Hillebrand, Chief Marketing Officer at CellAED, “this world-first technology is allowing more paramedics to have access to a defibrillator, no matter where they are, potentially saving hundreds of lives.”

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Abby Crawford and Andrew Cockbain are the driving forces behind Australian Power Equipment, a leading provider of low-, medium- and high-voltage power solutions. Abby spoke to Emily Riches about their business journey so far.

Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how you came to found Australian Power Equipment?

It’s a bit of a funny story! We started the company during Covid with just one product: the Cambria Association for the Blind (CAB) cable management systems. Both Andrew and myself were working full-time in consulting roles and thought this would give our respective kids a chance to learn new business skills. It turns out we ended up running it as a small side business instead!

It wasn’t long before we took on the agency for B&D transformers and within the year had also added Üntel Kablo cables and Leistung Energie switchgear. The business grew rapidly from there, and now we have both worked full-time in the company for more than two years.

Andrew is an electrical engineer with an extensive background in providing power solutions to mining and infrastructure projects. My background is in business management and development, from multi-national

organisations to smaller start-ups – so I have loved the journey of starting and growing Australian Power Equipment.

Can you talk us through some of the equipment you offer and your unique approach to addressing urgent equipment needs?

Safety and reliability is critical in our industries, and we supply the highest quality equipment certified to Australian and IEC standards. We offer all manner of industrial cable, transformers, switchgear and substations. The most important part of our supply chain is building teams based on mutual values, trust and a commitment to quality and delivery. Our critical sourcing services offer immediate solutions to critical issues. New equipment takes time in manufacturing and delivery, and there are many situations where sites simply can’t be shut down. We utilise our in-stock products, refurbished secondhand equipment and connections to provide quick solutions. A recent example was a major mine client that urgently required a critical electric drive; we sourced the part and had it flown into the country within three days.

Why is sustainability so important to your business?

Sustainability is more than a buzzword to us: it is a core value. Our critical sourcing and second-hand division

focuses on a circular-economy model. Our new equipment focuses on sustainable fuels, and net-zero carbon footprint. We also work with our supply chain to assist in creating sustainable pathways.

Our greatest joy is our community and environment initiatives. We are sponsors of Aussie Ark on various wildlife programs, and we are also a Primary Sponsor of Taronga Conservations Society Australia, and we are very excited about the projects they are running.

You recently received an Australian Enterprise Award – congratulations! What’s next for Australian Power Equipment?

Thank you! It was wonderful to be recognised with the award, and we are growing in many directions. We pride ourselves on our customer service, and as a small team we can be very agile in our approach.

We are also focusing on the renewables sector, where we have had some new clients reach out to us with wind and solar projects. We also have clients in the defence forces, transportation, agri-business and construction sectors. Our focus is to continue to service our existing clients and grow further into these sectors to supply superior service and quality solutions.

Visit australianpowerequipment.



For Aussies, international share diversification is not something we tend to consider. We’re a country of property fanatics with a stable economy and, in the form of the ASX, a developed and dividend-generous share market. What’s not to love about that?

However, investors need to understand that we are a miniscule drop in an ocean of great opportunities – and not assessing these possibilities may be costing you.


The total value of the global equity market in 2023 was priced at USD 109 trillion (AUD 164 trillion) – and the ASX represents a mere 1.5 per cent of that figure.

For comparison, the United Kingdom sits close to 2.9 per cent, Japan at 5.4 per cent, and the EU at 11.1 per cent. The massive United States stock market (home of the famous NYSE and Nasdaq) is worth 42.5 per cent, or USD 46.3 trillion (AUD 70 trillion).


The figures don’t lie. Over a 10-year period, Saxo measured the total performance (inclusive of dividends) of the ASX 200 index against other major global indices: While the ASX 200’s attractive dividend yield has pushed its

READ IT ONLINE COUNTRY TOTAL RETURN ANNUALISED RETURN (P.A.) INDEX Australia 139.54 per cent9.2 per cent ASX 200: the 200
Europe 109.85 per cent7.75 per cent Euro Stoxx 50:
Japan 217.96 per cent12.36 per cent Nikkei 225:
United States 214.25 per cent 12.23 per cent S&P 500:
68 AusBiz. FINANCE
largest Aussie public companies.
Europe’s top 50 public companies.
the largest public companies of Japan.
public companies.

annualised return above the Euro Stoxx 50, the Japanese Nikkei 225 and US S&P 500 have achieved far superior returns over this time. While it is challenging to predict future market movements, sticking only to Australian markets could be limiting your potential returns.

Even after accounting for fluctuations in the Australian dollar, an investment that earned you AUD 1 in profit in the Australian market over this 10-year period could have earned you AUD 3.62 in the United States.


Separating your investments across different regions and sectors is important for spreading risk. The process known as diversification ties back to the old phrase of “not carrying all your eggs in one basket” – meaning that if you were to “drop” a basket, you won’t lose all your eggs.

An ASX-only portfolio means every penny of your wealth is at risk of shocks and corrections facing the Australian market. Instead, by spreading your capital across different regions, you reduce it –minimising your risks and maximising your long-term return potential.

Despite this, the ASX Investor Study 2023 found that only 16 per cent of Australian investors directly hold international shares – compared to 58 per cent who directly own ASX-listed shares. That means there’s a significant number of Australians


1. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)

2. A RK Innovation ETF (ARKK)

3. Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 ETF (QQQ)

4. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)

5. A RK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG)

* By Saxo Australia clients with open positions. Current as of 10 May 2024.

who are yet to geographically diversify their stock holdings.

So why should investors take this step? Saxo sees seven different reasons:

1. Risk mitigation: By investing in multiple geographic regions, investors can reduce their exposure to the risks inherent in any single market.

2. Economic cycle diversification: While one country may be experiencing a period of economic expansion, another may be in a recession. By diversifying geographically, investors can position themselves to benefit from various stages of the economic cycle.

3. Sector diversification: By spreading investments across different countries, investors can gain exposure to sectors that may not be prevalent in their home market. E.g. the US tech sector or European healthcare sector.

4. Currency diversification: Investing in multiple currencies through geographical diversification can act as a hedge against currency risks.

5. Access to growth opportunities: Emerging markets, such as India, can offer the potential for higher returns due to rapid economic growth and industrialisation.

6. Access to global brands: Geographical diversification enables investors to gain exposure to globally-recognised, reputable brands and companies – whether it’s Apple or Amazon (US), Panasonic or Sony (Japan), or Nestle and Ferrari (Europe).

7. Regulatory and political diversification: Diversification can reduce the impact of adverse regulatory changes or political instability in any single country. Stock picking is a difficult skill to master and can easily become overwhelming. The good news is that it’s never been easier to diversify – the market for Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) offers a wide variety of powerful diversification options, from active to passive. Through ETFs, investors can gain exposure to a huge number of companies and sectors around the world. Saxo offers more than 7,000 ETFs for investment through its platform, from as little as USD 1 brokerage.

Geographical diversification is a powerful strategy for investors looking to optimise their portfolios and achieve long-term financial goals. Diversification is commonly dubbed as the “only free lunch in finance” and, to be a successful investor, you must learn its fundamentals.

Disclaimer: Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited (Saxo) provides this information as general information only, without taking into account the circumstances, needs or objectives of any of its clients. Clients should consider the appropriateness of any recommendation or forecast or other information for their individual situation.

JUNE/JULY 2024 69
SHAPE THE FUTURE WITH With world-class automation + positioning technologies that keep your people machines and assets safe. Learn more and get in touch today OPERATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

BUMA deploys operational technology for best client outcomes

Mining contractor firm BUMA offers comprehensive end-to-end services for its clients throughout Queensland. With a focus on safety, innovation and technology, the company has rapidly expanded its use of operational technology in recent years, tailored to meet the unique requireents of each client and project. Jack Walter leads the Operational Technology team across all sites. “As a mine contractor, we partner with our clients over the long term and our commitment is to deliver on their evolving shortto mid-term objectives,” he says.

BUMA’s scope and scale of operations is varied and dynamic. Current projects range from integration with a client’s fully autonomous fleet, to operating stand-alone pits, with both waste and production maintenance.

Responsible for monitoring the latest advancements in technology, Walker’s team looks for solutions that optimise performance, asset management and rural network connectivity.

BUMA’s journey into operational technology stemmed from a fundamental focus on taking care of its people, company assets including trucks, excavators and dozers, and the mine itself. “Safety is the number one value at BUMA. We continuously look to integrate industry best practice and utilise technology to create a secure working environment for all staff, both our own and our clients’,” Walker adds.

The use of high precision machine guidance for excavators and dozers, coupled with asset management, machine health monitoring, and site networking solutions, combine to enhance the efficiency and lifespan of machinery. “Optimising the safety of our people, as well as the health and performance of our equipment, ultimately leads to improved pit compliance and extraction. That in turn, translates to higher quality outcomes for clients, both in the short- and long-term,” he says.

As a growing company, BUMA focuses on downstream technologies that materially deliver strategic mine-planning. Survey, machine guidance and drone technology help to ensure accurate and safe mine designs that enhance overall efficiency.

Additionally, BUMA is investing in modern network infrastructure to maintain dataflow and real-time operations. In choosing a technology provider, Walker explains the requirement for a supplier that aligned with BUMA’s agile, tailored approach.

After years of successful deployment at Commodore, near Toowoomba west of Brisbane, Aptella (formerly Position Partners), has supported BUMA’s expansion of technology across all sites, with rapid deployment within a six-month period.

“We value Aptella’s adaptability, aligning perfectly with BUMA’s commitment to client needs,” says

Walker. “Aptella’s agnostic approach provides us with a wide range of solutions across various mining functions, enabling us access to the best tools for each project.

“We value our collaborative working relationship with the BUMA team tremendously,” says Andrew Granger, Mining Business Executive Manager at Aptella. “As a company that lives and breathes its commitments to safety and innovation, it has been a privilege to support their growth.”

As a multi-solution distributor with offices throughout Australia, Southeast Asia and New Zealand, Aptella has a strong commitment to providing local service and support capabilities to customers.

Like BUMA, the company recognises that every site and client has unique requirements when it comes to both the technology and service level agreement that will suit them best.

“Our approach is to listen to customer challenges and understand desired outcomes, first and foremost,” Granger adds. “We then innovate to source and deploy the best, tailored technology to help deliver those outcomes, and support our customers over the long-term.”

For BUMA, Aptella’s service includes 24/7 asset and technology monitoring and support, through Aptella’s remote access platform that enables technicians to view and remotely connect to in-machine systems over the internet. With the ability to train operators, diagnose maintenance requirements and more remotely, the service provides BUMA with fast, proactive support. This is backed by a local team of technicians for any unplanned maintenance that requires on-site attendance.

“In the dynamic industry that is mining, unplanned maintenance is part of the journey,” Walker says. “Having Aptella’s readily-deployable resources make a significant difference and their expert technicians enable us to address any issues quickly, minimising disruption and ensuring smooth operations.”



The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) is where the most influential people in the mining industry come together, delivering ideas, inspiration and serving as a meeting ground for the industry. From ground-breaking technology and world-class content to a vivid showcase of all the elements that make the mining industry great, IMARC is an opportunity to learn from more than 600 mining leaders and resource experts with a program covering the entire mining value chain.









New research has been conducted into a chemical-free alternative to one of beekeeping’s most devastating parasites – the Varroa mite – with promising results.
words: Emily Riches

For almost four decades, Varroa mite has devastated European honeybee colonies around the world, reaching Australia in June 2022. These tiny pests slowly debilitate colonies by feeding on bee’s bodies, while also transmitting harmful viruses that can result in deformed and wingless young bees.

By September 2023, the attempt to eradicate Varroa in Australia had cost the Australian government $100 million, with over 30,000 hives and 1 billion bees lost.

Synthetic chemicals have been used widely in attempts to treat infestations. Although showing short-term effectiveness, the chemicals ultimately leave residue in the wax and honey. Varroa mites have also developed resistance to certain chemicals.


The Bee Gym and Bee Gym Slim, developed in 2013 by British inventor Stuart Roweth, has long been popular with beekeepers who prefer to manage their hives using fewer chemicals – and recent research by a specialist group in the UK has shown that these devices are effective in allowing the bees to control Varroa mite populations themselves through natural grooming behaviours.

The Bee Gym is made up of a framework of wires which enable bees to scrape varroa mites off their backs,

“As its mode of action is mechanical rather than chemical, it is not possible for resistance to develop as it eventually would with chemical control measures.”

together with flippers and scrapers that help the bees to remove mites from their abdomen. Dislodged and damaged mites fall through the wire mesh at the bottom of the hive or onto a plate coated in Vaseline, preventing them from re-entering.

From May to September 2023, the Bee Gym Slim was tested by the


Devon Apicultural Research Group (DARG): an organisation aiming to raise the understanding of bee health through rigorous and robust research.

A hundred and ten beekeepers across southwest England took part in the trial. Beekeepers were supplied with the product and the results measured and recorded every week. Data collected over this 18-week period demonstrated that the hives using the Bee Gym Slim showed a clear increase in the number of mites dislodged from the bees.

This is a huge boost for farmers who want to use the Bee Gym as part of an Integrated Pest Management Strategy to manage Varroa in a chemicalfree way.

“For many beekeepers, chemical treatment is an absolute no-go area,” says Stuart. “The Bee Gym and Bee Gym Slim are biomechanical control devices; they can be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management approach to Varroa control – and this study shows that they make a big difference. Fighting Varroa can be an uphill struggle, so getting bees to help themselves can only be a good thing.”

This article was originally published in The Farmer magazine




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In an effort to confront the issue of escalating food waste, one of Australia’s leading supermarkets has forged a partnership with innovative insect farming start-up Goterra.

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Words: Muhammad Hassan Aamir
Images: Frederic Courbet for Panos Pictures/Food and Land Use Coalition

The collaboration between Woolworths and Goterra is set to introduce a groundbreaking food waste management system in Sydney’s Wetherill Park.


The initiative utilises the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) in sophisticated, shipping container-sized modules affectionately dubbed ‘Maggot Robots.’ These units have the astonishing capability to decompose food waste on-site, drastically reducing waste volume by 95 per cent within just 24 hours.

The result? The production of organic fertilizer and a nutrient-dense protein meal, which champions the principles of a circular economy. This aligns with Woolworths’ goal to send zero food waste to landfill by 2025.


Olympia Yarger, the visionary behind Goterra and the 2023 ACT Australian of the Year, is a pioneer in insect farming. She founded Goterra in 2014 as an agritech start-up focusing on innovative waste management using maggots.

Since then, Yarger’s ‘Maggot Robot’ system has significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions by processing over 35,000 tonnes of waste and saving more than 66,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“Australia generates over 7.6 million tonnes of food waste annually, enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground nine times, costing the economy over $36.6 billion.”


“Our new facility at Wetherill Park has the capacity to recover 6,000 tonnes of food waste annually and turn it into valuable and sustainable products including fertiliser and insect protein, helping to close the loop for key customers including Woolworths.”

Her commitment to sustainability and climate action exemplifies her role as a leader in environmental innovation.

Speaking to Business Australia, Yarger claims that Goterra is not just a tech company that is experiencing success or growth, but is “answering a really big problem”.


Australia generates over 7.6 million tonnes of food waste annually –enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground a staggering nine times –which costs the economy over $36.6 billion. This waste accounts for around 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, translating to 17.5 million tonnes of CO2 in Australia.

This represents a significant challenge, with millions of tonnes of food waste ending up in landfill each year, contributing to environmental degradation and economic loss.

The partnership between Woolworths and Goterra, however, showcases an effective model of how technology can be harnessed to address this issue.


The larvae inside the high-tech Maggot Robots work around the clock, allowing for 24/7 waste processing. Sensors track temperature, moisture and waste levels, automatically adjusting conditions to optimise digestion.

By processing over 100 tonnes of food waste weekly, the Maggot Robots not only aid in waste reduction but also mitigate the environmental impact associated with the transporting waste to distant landfills.

Speaking to Future Alternative, Yarger says, “Our new facility at Wetherill Park has the capacity to recover 6,000 tonnes of food waste annually and turn it into valuable and sustainable products including fertiliser and insect protein, helping to close the loop for key customers including Woolworths.”


Woolworths has been utilising Goterra’s technology in a small-scale trial across its ACT stores since 2020 and is now its foundation customer.

Woolworths 360 Managing Director of Sustainable Impact, Laurie Kozlovic,


said the system is a key piece of infrastructure that will enable Woolworths’ ambition to divert all food waste from landfill.

“While each of our stores has a partnership with a hunger relief charity, some of our food waste can’t be eaten and Goterra’s unique technology provides a low-emissions pathway to save it from landfill.”

This partnership exemplifies the potential of collaborative efforts between large corporations and innovative start-ups in addressing the environmental challenge of food waste.

By transforming this waste into valuable commodities, initiatives like

this not only help mitigate environmental issues but also stimulate economic growth by introducing new products and job opportunities. The Sydney site in Wetherill Park will create 12 new jobs for locals to Fairfield City Council.

Goterra is also planning to expand its fleet of modular waste units across Australia, providing scalable, decentralised and emissions-reducing waste solutions.

“For too long, food waste has languished in toxic landfills hundreds of kilometres from our cities,” says Yarger. “Our partnership with forwardthinking partners like Woolworths is helping change that.”



Palaeoconservation could be the key to rescuing our endangered animals.

Words: Matilda Meikle

When a species is listed as endangered, experts typically employ practices such as habitat protection, climate control and feeding. In other words, they provide the animal with more of what it already had, and is now lacking.

Palaeoconservation, on the other hand, is based on the idea that these same animals would thrive in a different environment, living under different conditions.

Professor Mike Archer from UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences says that studying the ancient past, including fossils, could improve conservation strategies for the future.

“Many animals and plants have a wider adaptive resilience than their current situations might suggest,” he says.

In palaeoconservation, ancient remains of a species’ ancestor are used to determine future conservation practices for the modern day. And it has had amazing results.


Burramys parvus, also known as the Mountain Pygmy-possum, is a critically endangered species living in the Snowy Mountains in east Australia.

When studying fossil deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in Queensland, Professor Archer was

able to link this native species to an ancient ancestor.

“Almost identical ancestors were thriving in cool, temperate lowland rainforests 25 million years ago.

"We believe they moved into the alpine area during a warm, wet period during the Pleistocene (Ice Age), but when the climate changed, they became stranded there, just able to survive by hibernating in winter and avoiding the temperature extremes that characterise the alpine zone.

“And now climate change is threatening them once again, with possibly only 2000 left alive. But using our knowledge of the fossil record, we have proposed that they could be reintroduced into the environments where they were once abundant and thrived for millions of years.”

By collaborating with Mountain Pygmy-possum researchers Dr Hayley Bates and Linda Broome, as well as

Australian Geographic, Australian Ecosystems Foundation and Prague Zoo, Professor Archer was able to establish a breeding facility in a lowland rainforest.

He worked closely with the Secret Creek Sanctuary to raise funds for the construction of a purpose-built facility, and has since been able to introduce a small number of possums to the area to begin breeding.

“This project is already working in just the way we predicted based on our understanding of the fossil record,” Professor Archer says. “The animals are now thriving in the new lowland environmental conditions and have even begun to mate and produce cute little youngsters.”

In the next couple of years, the group is hoping to release the Mountain Pygmy-possums into the wild to monitor how they adapt to the new climate.

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“Perhaps we could think about the Mountain Pygmy-possum’s fossil record as a proxy for the missing fossil records of other similarly threatened alpine animals and plants.”



Amazingly, this is not the first time palaeoconservation has been used in Australia to support an endangered species.

The Western Australian Swamp Tortoise was believed to be extinct for 100 years before it was rediscovered in 1953. Since then, population size has dwindled to around 50 in the wild, sparking the need for major conservation action.

Last year, in an initiative run by the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Team, 200 of these amphibians that had been bred in captivity were released into the wild.

However, instead of returning them to their known habitat, these animals were relocated 80 km north of Perth in Scott National Park and Moore River Nature Reserve.

Studies of fossil records in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area had uncovered a closely related species that historically inhabited a very different environment to the known home of the tortoise.

“The tortoise is critically endangered in part because the swamps where it occurs at the moment are gradually drying up,” says Professor Archer.

“But perhaps there’s a different palaeoconservation informed

strategy that could save this turtle. We have found specimens of the same genus and quite possibly the same species in a 15-million-year-old deposit in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in Queensland.

This wasn’t a dry desert swamp area at that time; these fossils were found in what would have been a freshwater pond in a cool, temperate lowland rainforest.

“Hence future efforts to conserve this turtle could perhaps seek out similar ponds in the rainforests of eastern Australia, ideally where there are no other turtles with which it might compete.”


While not all Australian animals can be traced back through fossil history, experts believe that the current collection of fossil remains could still be useful in understanding modern species better.

The critically endangered Southern

Corroboree Frog is one such species. While no fossil ancestors have been identified, the frogs are living and declining in the same region as the Mountain Pygmy-possum, even hibernating at the same time of year.

Professor Archer believes this correlation could help to direct a similar conservation translocation project to save the Southern Corroboree Frog from extinction.

“Perhaps we could think about the Mountain Pygmy-possum’s fossil record as a proxy for the missing fossil records of other similarly threatened alpine animals and plants.

“Given that climate change is now driving it towards extinction in the alpine zone, it would seem sensible to at least consider the conservation value of translocating a population out of the alpine zone and down into the same lowland wet forest environments that kept species of Burramys comfortable for at least the last 25 million years.”

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With Australia committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, innovations that focus on renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly vital. These two renewable energy programs in mining are examples of the path towards a cleaner, brighter future.

words: matilda meikle


Swinburne University of Technology has discovered a new way to process metal using renewable energy, potentially stopping millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Currently, the production of steel accounts for 11 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report from the Carbon Brief. This contributes to climate change, as well as damaging the atmosphere.

While iron and steel are typically extracted from iron ore using carbon, a team from Swinburne led by Professor Geoff Brooks have been studying the effects of using hydrogen for extraction instead.

“If we can’t decarbonise steel, humanity is in big trouble,”

Professor Brooks told Create Digital. “Businesses will continue to need a vast amount for the foreseeable future, so it’s impossible to overstate the scale of the challenge.”

Australia remains the largest exporter of iron ore in the world, meaning the need for renewable energy alternatives remains a pressing matter.

Professor Brooks, who was recently named as the new Chair for the Sustainable Mineral Processing and Green Steel Program in partnership with CSIRO, hopes to continue working on the production of green metal using hydrogen over the next four years.

“If you want green energy, you must embrace mining,” he explained. “To meet global renewable energy targets by 2040, we’ll need to mine six times more critical metals than we do currently.”

Brooks believes that focusing attention on the critical metals used in solar energy plants and batteries could be a bright solution. However, work needs to be done before this becomes an affordable solution.

“Using hydrogen instead of carbon to process iron ore is currently about 40 per cent more expensive.

“Making it more commercially viable will be complex, but we know it’s scientifically possible.”

Professor Brooks is confident that his team of staff and students is up for the challenge.



As Professor Brooks looks to revolutionise the processing of critical minerals, RUC Mining and Rockwell Automation are concerned with the collection of said minerals.

Underground mining hoists are the machines used to raise and lower minerals through a mine shaft. They provide an efficient and spaceconscious alternative for transporting materials, which would otherwise call for large and expensive machinery. However, while lowering these minerals requires minimal energy, lifting them upwards uses a significant amount of power.

It’s this energy disparity that inspired RUC Mining to consider whether it would be possible to generate energy on the way down, and store it to use as power for the mining hoist on the way back up.

RUC electrical manager, Greg Bell, partnered with Rockwell Automation and Energy Power Systems Australia to design the world’s first regenerative energy storage solution for underground mine winders. Their first installation had a hoist capacity of five metres per second, and operated to a depth of 1,600 metres.

When explaining how the system worked, Bell was enthusiastic about the implications of the program

“Most mine hoists use a brake resistor pack with a cooling fan to deal

“By reducing the amount of diesel needed to power the mining hoists, RUC was able to achieve significant environmental benefits.”



with the heat generated. But these packs create a single point of failure, and are application-specific, so they need recalculation if a variation in brake power is required,” he said.

“Instead, we proposed for the generating power to be supplied back onto the incoming supply bus, to be absorbed by system loads.”

By reducing the amount of diesel needed to power the mining hoists, RUC was able to achieve significant environmental benefits.

This included, as determined through estimates of the first installation over a 24 month period, a drop in diesel consumption by 1,427 kilolitres, equivalent to around $2 million. It also resulted in a reduction of carbon emissions by 3.85 tonnes, the same as driving 12,700 km in a petrol car, and a 42 per cent

reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“In addition to these strong sustainability benefits, the regenerative energy storage solution also reduces daily operating costs, reduces plant operating hours and maintenance requirements, and provides an additional level of redundancy to the power system that was not available in passive components such as load banks,” said Bell.

“Because power goes straight back to the battery with no heat loss, this type of solution could readily be scaled down to any energy application – even something like elevators. We believe this is the only successful gravity kinetic energy storage system using a hoist in the world, and we are proud to be introducing it here in Australia.”

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good mental health and wellbeing is an important goal no matter your circumstances or situation. These mental health apps are a couple of examples of the programs and initiatives using technology to reach out and offer a helping hand.

Words: Matilda Meikle


The Emergency Mindset Tools (EMT) app is designed to protect the mental health of first responders using natural therapies. In particular, it speaks to the unique challenges faced by corrections officers, police officers, nurses, fire and rescue personnel, paramedics and military members. The EMT app combines natural therapies and technology to support those suffering from sleep issues, anxiety, stress and a variety of other troubles. Sleep support is achieved through calming exercises and guided meditations intended to reduce sleep disturbances and stress. Trauma recovery is offered by walking first responders through the tools they need to cope with trauma, build resilience and reach out to professionals for additional help. Similarly, the app provides day-to-day wellness advice to promote overall well being.

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“The EMT app is my way of giving back and ensuring that those who spend their lives helping everyone else have access to the support they need.”

EMT was designed by Queensland Corrections Officer, Phil Hedges, who drew on his own experience with mental health when establishing the programs.

“I’ve experienced firsthand the toll that these careers can have on an individual’s mental health,” he explains.

“The EMT app is my way of giving back and ensuring that those who spend their lives helping everyone else have access to the support they need.”

The EMT team recognises that the irregular work hours of first responders makes it difficult to find time for traditional therapy, and hope that the app can provide around-theclock support.

There are several different types of therapy offered, including meditation, breathwork and access to traditional

avenues, allowing users to choose the method that aligns best with them.

Each program is developed with input from mental health professionals and remains anonymous, helping to reduce the stigma around getting help.


Youth Chat is a not-for-profit organisation offering a text-based mental health support service created in conjunction with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including good health and wellbeing (SDG 3), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), and partnerships to amplify impact (SDG 17).

The app offers young Australians a confidential and free support service in 135 different languages. Users are encouraged to message a team

member in their preferred language and engage in a confidential chat about the issues most concerning them, whether it be depression and anxiety, drug use, vaping and smoking, sexual identity, body image, or something else entirely. The app is run in collaboration with several community groups and cultural organisations who offer additional support, including helping young people to find safe housing and shelter.

According to David Hayes, Founder of Youth Chat: "Our mission aligns closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We recognise the critical role mental health plays in achieving overall health and well-being, and we are committed to reducing inequalities by ensuring our services are accessible to all young Australians.”

Youth Chat strives to promote inclusivity and sustainability, working closely with Babeltext, an Australian multilingual messaging platform enabling businesses to communicate with a diverse customer base.

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Matilda Meikle


Youth Up Front is a charity inspiring young people to build resilience and overcome adversity. Over the past 20 years, it has supported more than 100,000 students through educational and outreach programs, mentoring and

learning in some way, typically due to issues such as stress and mental illness, the Skills for Life program can reignite a passion for development and keep young people looking towards the future.

Similarly, Youth Up Front’s employment and career programs help young people to develop a strong resume through work placement opportunities and professional insights from local businesses which can help inform future career decisions.

Youth Up Front is always hosting new events to engage with the community and spread its message.


Australian Lions Hearing Dogs (ALHD) has been providing deaf and hearing-impaired Australians with free professionally trained Hearing Assistance Dogs for more than 40 years. Each dog is typically trained for 6-8 months before being placed in a new home. ALHD place a dog every two weeks, delivering more than 650 dogs since its inception.

Currently, one in six Australians are experiencing some form of hearing loss. Hearing dogs can improve day-to-day living, as well as providing comfort and emotional support. Having a hearing dog creates opportunities for social and community interaction, as well as increasing safety and promoting strong physical and mental health.

ALHD also places medical alert dogs with people living with chronic illnesses. They are primarily focused on supporting those with diabetes, training the dogs to alert their owner when blood glucose levels are outside the target range by touching them with one paw.


There are many ways to support the charity, including fostering a puppy until it is old enough to begin full-time training, or donating directly to the foundation.


Little BIG Foundation seeks to combat loneliness in Australia by creating opportunities for social interaction. The charity acknowledges the detrimental effects


individuals and support their own wellbeing. Since starting the initiative, the residential project has found that 73 per cent of people who attend events form a new relationship, and 44 per cent of people interact more with their community since engaging with the initiative.

of loneliness, especially in a postCOVID age or when living in a big city, and strives to create opportunities to engage with neighbours and colleagues to facilitate connection.

Summer Hill House is the first residential community site, launched in 2021. This safe space invites members of the community to make use of the kitchenette, bathrooms, open living spaces and library. Whether bringing work, playing board games or simply chatting, the house enables residents to find like-minded

Similarly, the Good Work Program is the foundation’s office initiative, improving mental health outcomes by providing a space for workers to interact and unwind over a meal and a chat. Little BIG Foundation also puts on events such as mental health workshops and training classes. In fact, its volunteers run over 2,000 events every year.

Loneliness is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, anxiety and depression, but Little BIG Foundation believes it is simple to prevent disconnection by offering opportunities for meaningful interaction wherever you find yourself.

For more information on the incredible work of these three charities, head to their websites or scan the links on this page.

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A fragmented jawbone found in the Murray River has changed scientists’ understanding of whale evolution.

The whale fossil was discovered on the banks of the Murray River in 1921, and remained in the collections of Museums Victoria for more than a century. However, a recent study of the fossil has revealed that ancient whale species from the southern hemisphere were much bigger than previously imagined, measuring up to nine metres long. The location of the fossil also indicates that the giant baleen originated in the southern hemisphere, a surprise to many researchers.

Dr James Rule, a researcher at the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom and lead author of the study, emphasises the importance of these findings on common understandings of whale evolution.

“Though nine metres isn’t large for a whale today, this would have been around 1.5 times as big as the other baleen whales we knew were living at the time,” he explains.

“This fossil reveals that whales in the southern hemisphere were getting larger earlier than expected,

upending studies based mostly on fossils from north of the equator.”


Baleen whales are the largest animals ever identified. Using bristly baleen plates, instead of teeth, the whales collect krill, plankton and small fish from the sea. Baleen is made out of keratin, the same protein that makes human fingernails and hair.

Previous studies of the baleen whale (mysticete) focused primarily on when the marine animals began to grow, rather than where. This is partly because specimens from the southern hemisphere account for only 19 per

cent of all global mysticete fossil records. However, these fossils appear to be much larger than specimens from the north, meaning any marine mammal fossils from the southern hemisphere are invaluable to researchers hoping to understand the evolution of whales.


The jawbone fossil that has sparked such interest was found more than 100 kilometres inland. Even 19 million years ago when the baleen whale was alive, it would have been a long way from open water, suggesting it may have ended up stranded by accident.

Co-author of the paper, Dr Erich Fitzgerald from Museums Victoria, was unaware of the importance of the fossil until he gave it to Dr Rule for study during his undergraduate degree. Together, they realised that the jawbone belonged to the largest baleen whale to ever exist.

When compared with baleen whale specimens over time, it became clear that while whales from the north have grown over the past 5 million years, those in the south were getting larger much earlier.

“The southern hemisphere and Australia in particular, have always been overlooked as frontiers for fossil whale discovery,” says Dr Fitzgerald.

“Fossil whale finds, like the specimen from the Murray River, are shaking up the evolution of whales into a more accurate, truly global picture of what was going on in the oceans long ago.”

The original paper was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.

“Fossil whale finds, like the specimen from the Murray River, are shaking up the evolution of whales into a more accurate, truly global picture of what was going on in the oceans long ago.”
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